Product Used: Outback Forage Oats, Moby Forage Barley
Moby forage barley and Outback forage oats have produced excellent grazing and hay options over the past two seasons on the property of Jordan Zerk, at Lyndoch, in the Barossa Valley of South Australia. Mr Zerk grew Outback oats in a 35 acre paddock last season and produced three grazings and an excellent hay cut from the area. Some 310 large bales and 380 small square bales of hay were harvested, at a yield of approximately three tonnes per acre. The same block also produced three grazings and 259 large bales the previous season with Moby forage barley. Mr Zerk said the year the Moby was grown was extremely dry and so the ability of the barley to produce multiple grazings and a good hay cut was excellent. He said Moby finished earlier in the season but was still able to grow enough forage for a hay cut that wasn’t much less than the yield from the oats in the better conditions of 2013.
The Outback oats took advantage of the good seasonal conditions and a later maturity. Last season the oats were planted after the first rain in May and were able to be grazed for the first time in winter. Outback oats produced well once the weather warmed up and was crash grazed by 120 head of cows for a fortnight each time. “It also gives the hills a break through the winter,” Mr Zerk said. “If you get a lot of finishing rain you get the benefit of extra hay.” He said he was very impressed by the performance of both Moby barley and Outback oats. “They are the best two products for people like me,” he said. “If anyone was struggling for feed and hay, they are perfect products.”
Some of the hay taken from the oats was sold to a neighbouring dairy farm, with the remainder kept on-farm to be utilised throughout the year. Mr Zerk said the hay quality of the Outback last season was very good and the feedback from the customer was very positive. “The big leaf on the Outback oats makes perfect hay, especially when it has been grazed first. It tillers out so much.” He said the paddock was also able to be grazed by the cows after the hay was cut. “There was still dry feed after cutting the hay and the cows ran on there for ages.”
Another oats variety was also grown on the property last season and did not produce the bulk and quality of feed as the paddock of Outback. Next season there might also be an option for the Outback oats to regenerate and Mr Zerk said he would consider direct-drilling clover seed into the pasture to allow another year of production from the paddock.
Jordan Zerk, of Lyndoch, SA, in Outback oats last season, which was used for grazing and hay.