New pastures show promise at Lake Bonney - Pasture Mix - Jumbo White Clover
A mix of pastures species has performed well in a grass-based feed program on the property of Karl Thompson, of Lake Bonney, in the south east of South Australia. Mr Thompson put in a pasture mix which included Optima tetraploid perennial ryegrass, Jumbo white clover and strawberry clover in late October 2010. He said they had three irrigation pivots on the property and renewed half a pivot every six years, with the pastures expected to produce and last over that time. There are also dryland areas of the property which are generally planted with annual ryegrass options each season.
Optima tetraploid perennial ryegrass was chosen to put under the pivot because of its ability to persist for a long time and still maintain high production and feed value. The addition of Jumbo white clover to the mix was also important as it has good persistence and will produce excellent yields over the summer period and complements the ryegrass well. Mr Thompson sowed the mix at 40 kilograms per hectare under a pivot. The pivot has a range of soil types and depth with the blend establishing well over the summer period. The dairy cows were kept off the newly planted pasture for the first ten weeks and then initially grazed the area in February. “We have a lot of older pastures and you definitely see the difference between old and new,” he said. The pasture was soon a full part of the rotation and was being grazed every 15 days through the spring and summer periods. “It gave us good feed from autumn through to summer,” he said. The dairy cows were able to gaze the paddock when there was approximately 3000 kg/ha of dry matter available and took the feed down to approximately 1800 kg/ha of residual dry matter. By leaving some of the forage in the paddock it allowed for a quicker recovery of the pasture and a more intensive rotational program.Karl Thompson, Lake Bonney SA
Excellent performances of Sub Tropical Pastures - Renegade Red Clover
Cooplacurripa Station is located on the easternfall of the Great Dividing Range in Northern NSW. Covering an area of over 64,000 acres plus forestry lease country, it runs from high production phalaris /ryegrass country down to summer dominant kikuyu/paspalum valleys all with a healthy covering of white clover. Weeds are a major focus for Manager Peter Turner and he is constantly improving Blady grass country by cultivation or spraying areas and sowing improved pasture species that will provide his cattle enterprise with higher quality fattening feed.
Last year in September, Mr Turner chose a mix of sub tropical grasses together with Renegade Red clover and Haifa white clover to establish permanent areas in paddocks wasted to Blady grass. Some of these areas have been locked up and rotationally grazed whilst scattered areas have been carrying cows and calves almost continually once they were established. In both situations Mr Turner has been impressed by the pasture establishment but more so with the feed quality and quantity that the Renegade red clover has added to the mix. Areas previously unproductive are now favoured by cows and calves and are closely grazed all year round. With a mix of Bambatsi panic, Premier Digit and Gatton panic, paspalum and kikuyu used with the clovers bloat is not a problem and Peter intends to sow more unproductive land with this mix to increase his carrying capacity.Peter Turner, Great Dividing Range NSW
Craig Bittner - Agwest Bartolo Bladder Clover
A paddock which contained two types of inoculated seed of the same variety demonstrated the superiority of the Goldstrike treatment to Craig Bittner, at his Curramulka property, on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Mr Bittner sowed 38 hectares of Bartolo bladder clover in late June this year with five hectares of the crop treated with inoculant as part of the Goldstrike package and the remainder treated with an inoculant from another source. The gold coloured Goldstrike seed is available exclusively from Seed Distributors. It was planted on the same day as the purple coloured seed from the alternative company and performed much better from the beginning. “Full marks to the Goldstrike,” Mr Bittner said. “It was a lot more vigorous.
The other stuff barely came up, and when it did it just sat there. The difference was daylight and darkness.” He said he had always been a bit sceptical about inoculant treatments but had changed his mind with the performance of the Goldstrike-treated seed in the paddock. The plants in the Goldstrike area also had much better root systems and were showing nitrogen nodules from quite early in the season. Mr Bittner said the germination from the purple seed was a quarter to a third of the other seed and provided very little plant density. “You could see the line between it and the Goldstrike area for weeks and months,” he said. “At one stage theGoldstrike was four to six inches high and the other was still at ground level.” He said the key to a good pasture paddock was to get it established and thick, which is what occurred in the Goldstrike area.
The Bartolo bladder clover was trialled on the property because of its ability to handle a range of pH soil types. Mr Bittner said the farm ranged from ridges and sandy hills to heavy flats, so a variety that would perform under those conditions would be handy. He was also looking for herbicide options in the rotation and sprayed the Bartolo paddock with Broadstrike early and a mix of MCPA and Affinity later in the season. The later herbicide option did check the crop going into spring, although the Goldstrike treated section responded earlier and much better than the other area. Due to the late plant and the poor result in part of the paddock the Bartolo was not utilised to its full potential. Mr Bittner said in the future he might look at planting the Bartolo earlier in the season and using it as a grazing option.Craig Bittner of Curramulka, Yorke Peninsula, SA