Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic
Cavalier spineless burr medic has formed the basis of an excellent grazing and hay production pasture for Daniel Martin, of Wall Flat, north of Murray Bridge, in South Australia. Mr Martin, who runs a dairy herd on the property, originally planted the Cavalier medic in the autumn of 2012, and has allowed it to set seed at the end of each season. At the start of 2014 a rainfall event in February germinated the Cavalier with the additional seed producing a very thick pasture. “It came up like a carpet,” Mr Martin said. Irrigation water was applied to the area shortly after and the paddock was also oversown with the legume blend and Tetrone ryegrass for additional bulk. Mr Martin said the early rain meant they had to keep the water up to it but it did produce a number of grazing opportunities throughout the autumn and winter. “Because it got away so well we were able to graze it in May and again in June and July.” The area was then locked up and cut for hay during the spring and produced yields of approximately 5 tonnes per hectare. “We’ll definitely keep running with it,” Mr Martin said. “It’s been a good product.” He said the key to its success on the property was to graze it down hard when it was young to help get rid of any weeds and then to let it run a bit prior to the next grazing. “It grows so vigorously,” he said.
An electric wire is used to move the dairy cows across the paddock with an additional wire often put in behind the herd to allow the medic in the grazed area to regenerate. Mr Martin said the cows took to the feed readily and did really well. Hay from the paddock was also used on the property and was cleaned up by the cattle. “It is good to bale,” he said. “The cows love it.” After originally being sown in 2012 and Cavalier medic has been allowed to regenerate at the end of each season in readiness for the next year. “This year there was a lot of self-sown seed and that’s what we want,” Mr Martin said. The paddock is irrigated throughout the season as needed and during the late spring and summer period continued to be grazed by dry stock. At planting the Cavalier seed was sown dry as shallow as possible and then water up or germinated with natural rainfall. In 2014 the early break ensured that the majority of the feed consisted on the Cavalier medic which performed strongly. The intention is to keep the paddock as a pasture option going forward, although a crop of barley could be used as a break to utilise nitrogen made available from the legume.
Daniel Martin, of Wall Flat, SA, uses Cavalier medic for grazing and hay production.