Blast is bred for the Australian cattle and sheep market. It is a late-maturing, highly productive and extremely hardy tetraploid annual ryegrass.
Sowing Rate: 25-30 kg/ha
Blend Rate: 5-15 kg/ha
A mid-late flowering variety designed to produce DM later into the season than Tetila-type varieties.
Days to flowering relative to Nui (0) = +7 days
200,000-300,000 seeds per kg
(Source: Pasture Varieties used in NSW 2006-2007, Bev Zurbo, 2006)
Blast is well adapted to a wide range of fertility levels and soil profiles, but performs best in well-drained loam. To maximise stand productivity, soil testing is advisable. Analyse soil and neutralise deficiencies with fertiliser and/or lime.
Good base rates of phosphorus are necessary for maximum DM production especially during the establishment phase. DM production is directly related to nitrogen availability. Consult your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist or fertiliser advisor for nitrogen application rates.
Sow at 25-30kg/ha alone or 5-15kg/ha when a component of a pasture blend. Sow seed no deeper than 1cm in a fine but firm seed bed. Sow into bared ground if direct drilling. Lightly harrow and roll to improve germination. Suitable for oversowing into an established stand. Pasture productivity is directly related to successful plant establishment.
During emergence it is essential to monitor regularly for damage from insects such as RLEM and lucerne flea, and spray as required. Inspect during early stand life for populations of black-headed cockchafer and slugs. Contact your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for spray application rates.
Blast seedlings germinate quickly and are very competitive once established. Always use a knockdown herbicide to ensure you are sowing into a clean seedbed. Monitor for post-emergent weeds and spray as required. Use options such as spray-grazing for broadleaf weeds.
Do not graze Blast until the plant is well anchored and root depth is established. Carry out a quick in-paddock 'grab test' by hand to ensure stock cannot pull plants out of the ground. Blast should be rotationally grazed to maintain 2-3 leaves per tiller. If the stand is allowed to grow beyond the three-leaf stage, it may run to head earlier and there will be a proportional reduction in quality and productivity.
Annual tetraploids, such as Blast, have 4 sets of chromosomes per cell resulting in bigger, darker leaves. This increased cell size has a higher sugar and moisture content which is more palatable and digestible than diploid varieties
To optimise livestock weight gain and health, ensure livestock are vaccinated and drenched. To prevent nutritional problems, make gradual diet changes when introducing hungry stock to lush pastures. Contact an Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for more information.