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Safin Cocksfoot

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Key features
• Super fine leaved cocksfoot
• 40-50% higher tiller density than most other cocksfoots
• Increased early spring production with high total DM
• Suits lambing and calving patterns in medium rainfall dryland systems
• Reliable, palatable summer feed where moisture is available

Key benefits
• Super fine leaved cocksfoot that is able to make the most of summer rainfall events to fill feed gaps for producers
• Noticeably faster to get away in spring and provides an increase in early spring production over other cocksfoots
• Suitable for dryland farming systems in lower fertility areas

As cocksfoot plants are slow to establish, paddock preparation is extremely important. Any (weedy) winter grasses need to be controlled before sowing. Spray topping in the spring prior to sowing is often effective. Failure to ensure proper weed management can result in either partial or complete failure of the stand. Plants will benefit from light grazing during the first 6–8 months after an autumn sowing, provided the root system has developed adequately. Light rotational grazing will encourage root development and allows it to compete with any legume which may have been sown as a companion species.

Suggested sowing rates
Pasture mix: 2–4 kg/ha
Dominant grass: 6–8kg/ha
Sowing depth: 3–10mm

Agromony and management
In summer dry areas, avoid over grazing during the spring/ summer period. If grazing with sheep, extra care must be taken through dry periods as they can damage young and established crowns due to cocksfoot’s erect growth habit. Poor management will lead to reduced plant numbers and persistence. Cocksfoot pastures grazed with sheep should be rotated frequently so as not to allow the sheep to continually graze close to the crown. Over grazing during this period, in combination with moisture stress, can cause the stand to thin out significantly and allow weed invasion. Summer active types such as Safin offer productivity in lower fertility areas subject to summer rain or complimented by irrigation. Safin may be readily grazed as part of a mixed pasture in a summer active sward. Cocksfoot has no endophyte and is therefore safe to graze low over summer, providing caution is applied to ensure crown is not damaged.

Pest resistance
Cocksfoot is tolerant to grass grub and Argentine stem weevil (ASW), but seedlings are susceptible to ASW adult attack. AgriCOTE Grass seed treatment is recommended where ASW damage is possible problems are likely at establishment.

A key feature of Safin is its increased early spring production. DM growth is critical through lambing or calving for dryland farming systems, to finish stock prior to potential summer dry conditions. Safin has an advantage through this period, as shown below, and in the paddock it is noticeably faster to get away in spring. Over the whole year total DM production of Safin is very good.

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