Pasture Establishment Guidelines (Tropical)

Plan ahead

The main reason that pastures fail is due to weed competition during establishment. Items to consider are:

Select a paddock early and reduce the weed competition before the pasture is established.

Do not sow until 1-2 good germination of weeds, such as Barnyard Grass, have been controlled pre-sowing.

Check fertiliser needs prior to sowing

Nutrition is particularly important, especially on previously cropped country. Soil testing will ascertain if soil nutrient imbalance occurs and if amendments are required..

Choose the correct varieties for your situation


  • Aim for a mix of perennial grasses and legumes for improved pasture and yield
  • Choose pastures by soil type, frost tolerance and rainfall
  • As your Barenbrug Representative for the correct mix for your area
  • Legumes improve pasture quality, soil nitrogen and yield.

Always aim to sow on good subsoil moisture

Aim to sow with good subsoil moisture
Favourable conditions are desirable in the 3-4 weeks following emergence
Time plantings to maximise potential rainfall opportunities.

Use quality seed / AgriCote treatment

Barenbrug has a seed procurement program to ensure the highest quality seed is purchased for coating. AgriCote is the original seed coating process that improves the ease and success of establishing a pasture, whilst eliminating the management hassle incurred by treating and sowing fluffy grass seeds.


  • Sow shallow
  • Tropical pasture species are sensitive to planting depth
  • Aim to sow seed less than 1cm deep
  • Sowing deeper than this will significantly reduce establishment.
  • Sow seed on the surface, followed by a light harrow to cover and/or the use of a rubber tyre roller to ensure good seed to soil contact (don’t roll crusting soils)
  • Good Grazing management
  • The success of a pasture is dependant on good grazing management in the first year
  • Do not graze until follow-up rainfall allows seedlings to develop a strong root system and are approximately 30cm tall
  • Graze lightly this will encourage tillering and root development
  • Spelling the pasture in late summer will allow grasses to set seed and will increase the life of the pasture.  Hay cutting is never recommended in the first year
  • The best grazing system will involve a combination of set stocking when production is high and some form of rotational grazing to ensure the pasture gets enough rest
  • Suggested establishment plan for weedy paddocks.

Phase 1: Ebony Cowpea > Dictator 2 barley
Phase 2: Spring Weed Control > Pasture Establishment