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Brett FrostCraig Bittner - GOLD STRIKE

A paddock which contained two types of inoculated seed of the same variety demonstrated the superiority of the Gold Strike 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 Gold Strike package and the remainder treated with an inoculant from another source. The gold coloured Gold Strike 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 Gold Strike ,” 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 Gold Strike - treated seed in the paddock. The plants in the Gold Strike 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 Gold Strike 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 Gold Strike 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
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