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Q75 Lucerne
Farmer's Feedback
Seed Distributors - Science based pasture®

Jason Black - Q75 Lucerne

A stand of Q75 lucerne has demonstrated good persistence under trying conditions over a number of years on the Black property, at Nanango, in the southern Burnett region of Queensland. Jason Black said flooding had occurred across a number of years on the property with the most recent event taking place in February of 2013. He said despite the trying conditions, Q75 has held on well and is still persisting soundly in its third year of production. “It’s surprising how well it has gone when you consider the flood water.” Lucerne on the property is generally cut six times per year with four decent cuts in the middle of the season, a clean-up cut in spring and a final cut in autumn. The Q75 is used in-house in the dairy or sold to a range of end users in the local area. Lucerne is made into big square bales, small square bales and round bales and sold to feedlots, horse markets and used by a range of customers. Mr Black said while the majority of customers buy on the visual appearance of the lucerne hay, there are some that randomly take feed tests which ensure the forage is within their internal specifications. “The Q75 hay quality is very good. It is very leafy hay.” He said their own cattle milked particularly well on the lucerne and they have incorporated both silage and hay into the dairy feed ration.

After one flood, the cows also strip grazed the lucerne at a time when the majority of other pasture options had been swept away. The lucerne provided an ideal grazing option to keep the dairy cows in good shape under the adverse conditions. Mr Black said the uncertain weather conditions had meant that the Q75 lucerne has not always been able to be harvested at the optimum time. He said the lucerne was handling a delayed cut well, in less than ideal conditions. “While you would like to get it off at the right time, sometimes we need to go a bit earlier or a bit later.” Initially, the lucerne was sown in the middle to the end of the winter of 2010 and established strongly to produce good forage cuts in the first year. The most recent cut prior to the February 2013 rainfall event produced 100 big square bales from a 30 acre area. Mr Black said this season they would look at putting a trial of lucerne varieties on the property to compare dormancy groups, persistence and hay quality.

Jason Black, Nanango, in the southern Burnett region of Queensland

Peter Redgrove- Q75 Lucerne

Q75 lucerne has proven to be the ideal option for making quality hay on the property of Peter Redgrove, at Singleton, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Mr Redgrove said he tried many different lucerne types over the years and has settled on a winter dormancy rating of seven or over to best suit his needs. Q75 is rated a seven for winter dormancy and has been grown on the property with good success for a number of seasons. “The Q75 is in its third season and it is going beautifully,” Mr Redgrove said. Hay on the property is made into small square bales and sold to local race horse and trotting horse customers or is freighted to Sydney to supply produce stores.

Mr Redgrove said the quality of Q75 was such that he never had a problem selling it to any of his customers. He said the fine stems of Q75 meant the horses could digest the lucerne well. A real key to the longevity and consistent performance of Q75 on the property is its ability to adapt to different soil types. Its good pest and disease resistance makes it a superior option to other lucernes that have been grown on the property. Mr Redgrove said he had grown lucerne varieties in the past that produced good hay, but were weakened by aphid damage or root diseases. “I would expect at least four years out of Q75,” he said. A cut of Q75 in late February of 2013 produced 612 small square bales from the 10 acre area. “It is yielding very well,” Mr Redgrove said. “It does 60 to 70 bales to the acre consistently.” The lucerne is cut every 28 days on the property and starts with a clean-up cut in September and continues every month through until April in most years, and through to May if the seasonal conditions are favourable. This means there is the ability to get eight and perhaps nine cuts of lucerne from the stand over the summer period in a very good return. Q75 has shown an excellent ability to regrow quickly after cutting. Mr Redgrove’s enterprise is designed around producing consistent quality hay to ensure his customers get the product they expect on a consistent basis. He said Q75 was the ideal lucerne for the farm because it produced high yields of quality hay and also had the pest and disease resistant properties to ensure its longevity.

Peter Redgrove, at Singleton, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales

Frank Brock - Q75 Lucerne

Q75 produced six cuts and a total of 81 5ft x 4ft round bales and 356 small square bales from 4.8 hectares in its first season. The stand was planted on June 22, 2005 and achieved its first cut in early October. Both the first and second cuts were produced under dryland conditions with irrigation not used until late November. “It jumped out of the ground and went like a rocket,” Frank Brock said. The winter activity of Q75 also allows for grazing through the winter months. It has performed well on a range of soil types ranging from sand on clay, clay loam and stony red ground.

Frank Brock, Tintinara SA

Bruce Payne - Q75 Lucerne

I thought I’d lost the Q75 when I planted it due to the the mass of volunteer clover that came up when I watered up the block. But the Q75 came through and it’s now looking great.The Q75 is giving me good yields and its got leaf all the way to the ground. We’ll be planting Q75 on our next lucerne paddock.

Bruce Payne, Ashley via Moree, NSW

Phil Woodlands - Q75 Lucerne

I first planted Q75 in 2004. I’m very happy with the hay quality that Q75 produces. It holds its leaf very well and doesn’t drop the bottom leaves like the other varieties. Its giving me 7 cuts a season and a total yield around 25 tonne of hay per hectare over the season.

Phil Woodlands, Gunnedah, NSW

Ian Cutten - Q75 Lucerne

Q75 provides excellent grazing opportunities for sheep early in the season. The high winter activity of the variety allows for good spring growth with excellent response after grazing.

Ian Cutten, Keith SA

I’m very impressed with the Q75 - Q75 Lucerne

It really jumped out of the ground and I had a full plant stand 3 days after sowing. Its not as tall as the other winter active varieties but it has very dense growth and is making excellent quality hay. The first cut produced 200 small square bales per hectare and it has regrown very quickly. I’m surprised its going so well because the paddock isn’t the best.

John Byers, Albion Park, NSW

Noel ForrestQ75 lucerne trialled to fill autumn feed gap - Q75 Lucerne

Lucerne was trialled to fill a feed gap in the autumn on the property of Noel Forrest at Chiltern, near Albury Wondonga, in north-east Victoria. Mr Forrest said it wasn’t normally a lucerne area but he wanted to try a paddock to produce hay through the summer and provide some green pick through the autumn. The winter active Goldstrike Q75 lucerne variety was direct-drilled into an old pasture paddock in mid-August, at a rate of 13 kilograms per hectare. Mr Forrest said it was the first time they had grown lucerne and it was getting a lot of positive attention in the area. The paddock consisted of both lighter and heavier soils, with the lucerne responding well to the range of types.

Mr Forrest said they could struggle for feed in April prior to the winter pasture option being available. He said lucerne seemed an excellent option as it would respond to summer rainfall and still provide some valuable feed going into autumn. The Q75 lucerne established well and was ready for its first cut in December the same year. Mr Forrest said the dryland block responded well to the good conditions early and survived the intense heat in late spring when temperatures reached 42o C. Lucerne will be used as a long-term option on the property to produce one to two hay cuts over the summer period and allow the grazing option going into autumn. The winter activity of Q75 meant it would continue to grow through the autumn and into the cooler months. It will also produce good quality hay which can be used on-farm or sold externally. Mr Forrest said the success of the Q75 lucerne in the first season meant they will try a bit more lucerne in the coming years. “We have been very pleased with it,” he said.

Noel Forrest at Chiltern near Albury Wodonga in north-east Victoria

Phil WoodlandQ75 a hay winner - Q75 Lucerne

Phil Woodland has won the Gunnedah Show Lucerne Hay Competition for the past 3 years with Q75 Lucerne. “My Q75 stand is now 3 years old and is going very well. It makes really good quality hay because it holds its leaf right to the bottom of the stems, even if you have to delay cutting due to bad weather. The 4 week cutting cycle for the Q75 on my farm also suits my irrigation cycle and helps to make it a very profitable lucerne crop.”

Phil Woodland of Gunnedah, NSW

Mick O'Connor - Q75 Lucerne

A paddock of Goldstrike Q75 lucerne sown at the start of September was able to feed lambs in December. Mr O’Connor uses dryland lucerne to fatten lambs over the summer months and provide the odd hay cut if conditions are suitable. The Q75 paddock had originally been planted to lucerne back in 1996 and was then rotated into a cropping phase prior to the new lucerne stand being planted on September 1, 2009. Mr O’Connor said lucerne had been an ideal option to fatten lambs, with an adjoining block of 15 hectares carrying 600 stock into December. The ewes lamb onto grasses in May and June and the lucerne is then utilised in the late spring and summer periods. Lucerne is able to take advantage of summer rainfall it can provide handy feed over the warmer months and delay the need to hand-feed the stock. Q75 is also a more winter active variety to provide a bit more feed during the autumn and winter. Mr O’Connor said the lambs did particularly well on the lucerne and he was able to finish them off for market on the forage. He said the crops that had followed the previous lucerne stand had also benefited from the additional nitrogen in the ground.

Mick O’Connor of Mangalore in central Victoria
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