Phillips, H.M., Cranston, L.M., Kemp, P.D., Donaghy, D.J.
Original Research Article,
The natural reseeding of plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) in a sward mix containing plantain, chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) was monitored under conventional dairy grazing management between January and September 2015 in Manawatu, New Zealand. Measurements included numbers of seedlings emerging, and survival of tagged seedlings and their contribution to sward population densities. Seedling numbers ranged between 17-368 seedlings per m2 and varied (P < 0.05) between paddocks and gradients (>15° slope versus flat). The time of seedling emergence had no effect (P > 0.05) on seedling survival; however seedling survival varied considerably (P<0.05) between the paddocks (26% versus 76%), with higher survival following mechanical topping prior to the start of the study. Overall, at the end of the study, plantain seedlings contributed 14% of the total plantain shoots in the sward and plantain shoot density either increased or remained stable during the study period. The current study suggests that natural reseeding of plantain is significant under conventional grazing management and could be used as a management tool to maintain or increase plantain shoot density.