The need to produce hay and silage of high quality has led to the use of a number of legume blends on the property of Grant and Debbie Jolly, at Victor Harbour, in South Australia. Mr Jolly said he produced the forage to form part of the ration for dairy cows and was keen to achieve a high quality product. “Bulk is cheap but quality is the most expensive and the hardest to get,” he said. With this aim of producing a top quality product, the specialist SowSmart HDL Blend and SowSmart Medic Haygraze HR Blend were sown on the property towards the end of May. The SowSmart HDL blend is a mix of different clovers and sub clovers whereas the Medic Haygraze HR Blend has 60 percent medic and the remaining 40 percent made up of sub clover and clover. Mr Jolly said the medic blend was taken entirely for hay and impressed with its bulk and quality when harvested in late October.
He said there was a huge amount of seed leftover in the medic paddock which will assist the crop to regenerate early in 2014 and produce more high quality forage. “I’m hoping it will seed out and go well for a few years.” The HDL blend also performed well and, in areas, the Zulumax arrowleaf clover, which makes up 30 percent of the blend, was quite noticeable across the paddock. “That arrowleaf clover grew as high as ryegrass,” Mr Jolly said. The clovers are something you really try to value. We grow a reasonable amount of them.” The HDL Blend was taken for both hay and silage and both options produced forage of very good quality. Both blends were sown with either wheat or grasses to produce more bulk in the mix. The paddocks were not stocked at all and the blends put in specifically to produce the high quality hay or silage forage needed in the dairy ration.
Debbie Jolly, of Victor Harbour, SA, in SowSmart Medic Haygraze HR Blend cut for hay.