A Harrowing Experience for Meadows

Caring for the meadow: The spring tine harrow pulls up matted grass, freeing up room for germinating seeds.

Even a meadow needs looked after, since without tending, a lush pasture can soon turn into a barren steppe. To stop things from coming to such a pass, Agroscope is testing various upkeep methods.
Intensively utilised grassland can undergo severe degeneration. Reasons for this are frequent and early cuts, which have the effect of severely impeding the development of the agriculturally worthwhile tussock-forming grasses in particular – i.e. those that store their reserve substances above-ground, such as Italian ryegrass. The gaps are often filled by uneconomic grasses and weeds which reproduce primarily vegetatively, such as rough meadow grass or creeping buttercup. In order to counteract this development, Agroscope is developing new upkeep measures for meadows. When thatching the meadow, for example, small slits are cut in the turf. These untangle matting and damage undesired weeds. A spring tine harrow – a sort of brush for grass – has the same effect. Testing the efficacy of the individual methods helps farmers keep their pastures in good condition, efficiently.