Product Used: Moby Forage Barley
Moby forage barley provided an excellent option for sheep feed throughout winter on the property of Ross Geddes, at Dookie, in northern Victoria. Mr Geddes said it was the first time he had grown Moby barley and planted it because he wanted something that would feed his first-cross ewes and lambs through the winter months. “I think that’s its biggest selling point,” he said. The barley was planted in March at a rate of 50 kilograms per hectare and germinated well, but had to wait through some dry conditions until rainfall finally arrived on May 10. It was planted to three small paddocks ranging in size from 12 to 15 acres and then rotationally grazed by 320 ewes and lambs across June, July and the start of August.
“We then had a colossal amount of feed off it,” Mr Geddes said. “They grazed it right down to the ground and then moved onto the next paddock.” In the middle of August the three paddocks were locked up for hay and during spring produced 205 large round bales from the 40 acres. Mr Geddes said he looked at the hay shed in the lead-up and it contained just 16 rolls, so the Moby barley certainly helped in this regard. “It is a nice feeling to have a full shed of hay,” he said. As well as yielding well, the hay produced was of a very good quality. “Even the contractors who baled it commented on the softness of the hay,” Mr Geddes said.
One of the keys to the success of the Moby barley was to treat the paddocks as a crop, rather than a pasture. This included broadcasting 150 kilograms per hectare of single super at the start of the crop and putting a fungicide across it late in the season to assist in disease control. “I treated the barley as a grain crop,” Mr Geddes said. He said typically winter feed could be a bit challenging on the property and Moby barley proved a good option to fill this gap. He said the lambs performed well on the forage and were sent to market in October. Hay as roughage was provided as an alternative feed source in the paddock with the ewes and lambs performing well.
Ross Geddes, Dookie, Victoria