Product Used: Optima Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrass, Origin Winter Active Tall Fescue, Zulumax Arrowleaf Clover, Renegade Red Clover, Clare 2 Sub Clover
A pasture mix consisting of ryegrass, fescues and clovers produced excellent grazing and hay options last season on the Collins property at Wheeo, west of Crookwell, in the Southern Tablelands region of New South Wales. Chris Collins said he decided to put the pasture mix in when his father went on holidays to see if it would grow well on the property and was pleased with the results. The two hectare paddock is located near the house and was planted to the pasture mix on March 23. Included in the mix were Optima ryegrass, Origin and Martin 2 Fescue, Zulumax Arrowleaf Clover, Renegade Red Clover, Hyfa White Clover and Clare 2 Arrowleaf Clover. Mr Collins said he decided to put in the range of different species to take advantage of their different growth patterns throughout the year. “We let it establish and then crash grazed it with a mob of 200 head,” he said. “It never looked like it would stop growing. It bounded away after that.
He said the paddock was slashed for weed control during spring but continued to grow and they were able to take a cut of hay off it in mid-November. Some 25 4 foot by 4 foot hay bales were taken from the paddock with the late hay cut and it was then allowed to recover through the summer period. “When it came back the clovers were between 18 inches and two foot in height.” The season dried off late so the hay cut was an excellent option. Mr Collins said it was interesting to see how the different species complemented each other through the year, with the ryegrass and fescue providing good early growth and the range of clovers hitting their straps during spring time. The paddock also took out first place in the inaugural Crookwell Show Society Pasture Competition for Best New Pasture. “It was impressive for the country,” Mr Collins said. The soil is a light granite type and Mr Collins had been working for a number of seasons to get it ready for the pasture mix. Boron had been included in the fertiliser to address a deficiency and lime had also been added to make the pH more suitable. The previous crop had been oats which was ploughed in during that season. Mr Collins said the plan was to allow the pasture to regenerate over summer and provide additional grazing through the next winter and also the option of a hay cut during spring.
Chris Collins, from Wheeo, on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales