Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic
Ian Hancock of Flowerdale near Yea in Victoria used Cavalier medic in a blend with forage oats to increase feed value and add nitrogen to the soil. Medic was used successfully to increase feed value and add nitrogen to the soil on the property of farmer and contractor Ian Hancock of Flowerdale near Yea in Victoria. Mr Hancock said he planted Goldstrike Cavalier spineless burr medic as part of a mix with forage oats and was very impressed with its performance.
The paddock was sown in the last week of March with medic replacing clover as the preferred legume species. “It struck and grew better than clover,” Mr Hancock said. “Next year we will use it in most places where we used to sow clovers.” He said clover had been difficult to establish in the drier seasons and so they had looked to crops such as medics that were grown further north. The Cavalier medic struck and was out of the ground with just 3mm of rain which fell a week after planting. “We are using it on soils with a pH of between 4.5 and 4.8. It’s not a neutral soil type, but the medic seemed to perform well.” The oats crop was sown at 100 kilograms per hectares with 100 kilograms per hectare of DAP into 155mm row spacings.
Medic seed was scattered at a rate of 15 kilograms per hectare in between the rows using a Duncan seeder and competed well with the oats throughout the season. A lack of fencing as a result of the February bushfires meant the eight hectare paddock was not heavily grazed, although it did feed 30 cows and calves in the last three weeks of June prior to it being locked up for silage. The silage was harvested in late September with an average yield of 32 rolls per hectare at an estimated weight of 680 kilograms per roll. A subsequent hay cut was then achieved towards Christmas.
Mr Hancock said they were planting, silage and hay contractors and would often trial new varieties and techniques on their own property before recommending it to other farmers. He said the medic blends worked particularly well and the nitrogen fixation and added feed value more than paid for itself. “We were very happy with the product,” he said. “It was a gamble, but not an expensive gamble and it was certainly worthwhile.” He said Cavalier medic could also be grown on its own to produce high quality small squares of medic hay.
Ian Hancock of Flowerdale near Yea in Victoria