Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic
Medic seed was used to bulk up a lucerne stand and provide grazing options at different stages of the year on the property of Darren Kerr, at Kamarooka, near Elmore, in central Victoria. Mr Kerr said he directdrilled Goldstrike Cavalier spineless burr medic into a two year old Goldstrike L56 lucerne stand in the autumn of 2009. “We have been trying to target varieties suitable to lower rainfall that can also fill feed gaps in the winter time,” Mr Kerr said. The Goldstrike L56 lucerne provides good feed through the summer but is more dormant in the winter time, so the medic was a good option on the property. It was planted at a rate of 8 kilograms per hectare and germinated well. The pasture was also treated with a tonne of lime per hectare prior to the medic being sown. Mr Kerr said he put between 300 and 400 ewes on the 22 acre (9 hectare) block over 12 days and they ate the forage to the ground prior to seed set. “The stock loved it and did really well on it,” he said. “We got a heap of feed value out of it.”
After the stock were removed from the paddock the Cavalier medic was allowed to go to seed to ensure a more longterm pasture option. “There was heaps of seed there,” Mr Kerr said. He said they were looking for a pasture that would last three to four years and make the most of the varied seasonal conditions. Last year the lucerne medic mix also had some self-sown oats in it and they were experimenting with other varieties such as clover and cocksfoot for forage alternatives. “We are looking at low rainfall varieties suitable for our country.” The medicbased pasture could be used for hay or silage production as well as grazing and provided a good option through the winter months. “We will target different paddocks with medics and have a double edge with improved pastures,” Mr Kerr said. Over the past six years, approximately 200 hectares of lucerne had been successfully established on the property and could also be used as the basis of other pasture species. Mr Kerr said medics were ideal as they provided feed in the winter, were tolerant to lower rainfall and also added nitrogen to the soil. He said there were a lot of people in the district trying different things. With the varied weather conditions over the past decade, it is important to have a range of crops and varieties to take advantage of rainfall events.
Darren Kerr of Kamarooka, near Elmore, in central Victoria