Increasing Organic Matter and Biology in Pastoral Systems | Topping Pastures

Over the next month we are going to write a series of posts about how to increase organic matter and biology in pastoral systems. This is a very important topic and one that can have huge implications on a farming system. The posts are going to focus on the following topics:

  1. Diverse Pastures
  2. Topping
  3. Sabbatical Fallows
  4. Compost
  5. Targeted Biological Inputs

2. Topping

Regular topping of your paddocks helps to improve the grass sward by encouraging young growth as well as stimulating new root development. It also prevents many of the undesirable plants such as docks, nettles and thistles from going to seed, thus reducing the number of these plants in the future.

Far from reducing the amount of grass you have available, regular topping of your paddocks actually helps to increase the amount. Areas which may have been densely covered with dock or nettle patches for years can be converted to grassland, following a regular regime of topping.

By topping you will actually encourage more grass to grow. This means you have a greater volume of grass going into the winter season, which can ultimately help to reduce your feed bills.