Drover Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata)
Drover is an acid tolerant, Australian-bred cocksfoot which sets the benchmark for Mediterranean-type cocksfoots.
Where can I grow it?
Frequently Asked Questions
Drover cocksfoot has an ability to thrive under acidic granite soil conditions. To maximise stand productivity soil testing is advisable. Analyse soil and neutralise deficiencies with fertiliser and/or lime.
Cocksfoot is very responsive to annual autumn phosphorus and sulphur fertiliser applications. DM production is directly related to nitrogen availability. Consult your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist or fertiliser advisor for nitrogen application rates. Adding a legume component (such as sub clover) to pasture mixes containing Drover is recommended for fixing nitrogen.
Cocksfoot is best sown in autumn. While early growth is slow, it is generally more vigorous than phalaris or fescue. It is a very light, fine seed and should be sown at 2-4 kg/ha on its own or at 1-3 kg/ha in combination with another grass.
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.
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.
Cocksfoot is a slow establishing species so early weed control is crucial to long term viability of the stand. Always use 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 once stand is established.
Due to its poor seedling vigour, Drover cocksfoot needs to be managed carefully through the first season by only lightly grazing. In regions where summer rainfall is common, pastures containing cocksfoot can continue to be rotationally grazed throughout the summer.
Drover has improved palatability over traditional cocksfoot varieties. It is an excellent ingredient in long-term perennial pasture mixes.
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.