For most of the UK 2017 saw a very dry spring leading into a very wet autumn and winter. The amount of rainfall experienced in the latter part of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 can have unseen effects on soil structure which can lead to problems in the short and long term.
The sheer weight of the water sitting on the land can cause soil compaction which could lead to a decrease in 2018 grass yields if the problem is not rectified.
Compaction can cause the soil to have less carrying capacity for livestock and machinery in the short term and in the long term can cause nutrients deficiencies in the soil and less air and water movement through the soil which leads to less fertiliser uptake. Compacted soil will be colder which will lead to delayed germination and root production, which in turn will impact on your yields.
Now is the best time to walk your fields to identify any areas which may be suffering from compaction. Tell-tale signs include, water collecting in fields and not draining away as quickly as usual and patchy areas of growth. To decrease the effects of compaction use a sward slitter to aerate the soil, if the compaction is deeper than 6 inches you may need to use a sward lifter. Once this is done you will need to think about adding nutrients back into the soil and reseeding, ahead of the main grass growing season.
When thinking about reseeding, bear in mind that we are offering 10% off all of our Agricultural Grass Seed mixtures during February and March. Simply use the code Seed10 at checkout to redeem your 10% off.