The leading cocksfoot in forage yield
Adremo, a highly palatable cocksfoot variety, is the latest release in South Africa with exceptional dry matter results in trials in the Southern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Cocksfoot is a very persistent perennial grass that tolerates summer dry conditions, moderate soil fertility, insect attack and continual set stocking. Cocksfoot is used to enhance the growth and persistence of permanent pastures in summer dry areas. It also adds variety to the stock diet. Traditionally seeding rates of cocksfoot were kept low in a mix, because cocksfoot can dominate pastures, reducing clover levels and digestibility. New fine leaved cocksfoot cultivars like Adremo are much more compatible with ryegrass, giving better long term pastures. Cocksfoot is moderately slow to establish and has lower digestibility than most other grasses. Cocksfoot has limited winter growth but good summer growth.
Cocksfoot is most commonly sown at 4-6 kg/ha as a component of a ryegrass based seed mix. It can be sown at a higher rate of 10-15 kg/ha as a specialist pasture, particularly in dry conditions where
other grasses struggle to persist.
Cocksfoot should be kept short and leafy through the spring to maintain feed value. If traditional cocksfoots become clumpy or stemmy they are unpalatable to stock. In grazing trials, where cocksfoot has been kept short and leafy, animal performance is reasonably good. Maintaining good legume content in cocksfoot pastures will improve animal performance.
Cocksfoot responds well to nitrogen fertiliser, generally at higher rates.