Product Used: Outback Forage Oats
An experiment that pitted Outback oats against Suparoo oats on the property of Angelo and Dean Lombardozzi of Tatura, Victoria demonstrated the ability of the Outback oats to go further in the season and produce higher yields. Dean Lombardozzi said he initially trialled the two in a side-by-side experiment at various planting rates and conducted a plot cut on the area on September 8 last season. The oats had been planted in late April and the cut taken 133 days later. Yields from the plots ranged from 9 to 10.8 tonnes per hectare with the higher returns coming from the Outback oats at planting population of 40 and 60 kilograms per hectare. Mr Lombardozzi said a planting rate of 80 kilograms per hectare was common in the area and it was interesting to see the higher yields coming from the lower plant populations. He said the lower plant population from the Outback oats produced four to five tillers per plant, compared to the higher plant populations which had between two and three.
The real benefit of Outback oats was demonstrated after the initial cut when it was able to take advantage of a spring rainfall event and regrow vigorously. “The Suparoo didn’t come back at all whereas the Outback oats were two and a half feet tall,” Mr Lombardozzi said. He said there could have been a real opportunity to harvest the Outback oats for silage in the spring and then lock it up for a hay cut in November. In an adjacent paddock, Outback oats and Suparoo oats were planted side-by-side and eventually cut for hay in mid-November. Mr Lombardozzi said the 1.5 hectares which was predominantly Suparoo oats produced 37 large square bales from it, compared to the area dominated by Outback which yielded 69 large square bales. He said the Outback oats were an erect type so would also lend itself well as a companion plant with another species. “It would be fantastic with a medic – it would give the companion species a chance.” He said the Outback oats looked to be a good grazing option in the area and then could be locked up for hay to take advantage of any spring rainfall events. Last season the crop was planted into an old pasture paddock and didn’t receive any additional nitrogen at seeding or throughout the year. Tests showed adequate nutrition at planting and the crop was sown relatively early after a rainfall event. Mr Lombardozzi said the season was a bit patchy and the crops had to ensure a dry spell during August and early September.
Angelo and Dean Lombardozzi, of Tatura, Victoria