Product Used: Moby Forage Barley
The inability to source his normal forage barley variety last season led Martin Wilson, of Gympie, Queensland, to put some Moby forage barley in instead. “I had been growing the other variety for years and had a good run with it but I was absolutely wrapped with the Moby this year,” he said. The Moby was planted in the first week of April into 30 acres of land and at harvest in spring produced 281 large round bales of hay. “The hay quality was very good,” Mr Wilson said. “I was really impressed. The cows were eating it like liquorice. I sold some of it and the people that bought it came back wanting to buy more of it.”
He said the excellent yield and hay quality of Moby means it will be sown on the property next year in preference to the other variety. The crop was planted at 60 kilograms per hectare and received fertiliser up-front and additional urea during the season. It utilised just eight megalitres of water across the whole paddock in a number of irrigations as the weather warmed up in the lead-up to harvest. “To have 30 acres and get 281 big round bales with that amount of water used is just perfect,” Mr Wilson said. Hay is grown on the property each year and fed to the dairy cows on-farm or sold to a number of different markets including cattle and horse people. Mr Wilson said he had been concerned that the Moby crop was shorter than the previous forage barley he had grown and that would equate to a lesser yield. This was definitely not the case with the result from the season producing a heap of bulk that equated into very good hay.
Moby barley also has a white seed characteristic which is more desirable in the market place and commands a premium over the black-seeded variety that had been grown on the property. The planting date in early April works well on the property with soil temperatures still warm to enable the barley to germinate and establish quickly. It also means the crop can be harvested at the start of spring. Last year the paddock was quickly turned around and sown to a forage sorghum variety for feed during the summer.
Martin Wilson, of Gympie, Qld was impressed with Moby barley in its first year on the property last season.