Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic
A crop type that is not normally associated with cold area climates has proved a successful option on the property of Hilton Reynolds, at Cooma, in the Monaro Plains region of New South Wales. Mr Reynolds said he decided to plant some Cavalier spineless burr medic last season despite it not being used a lot in the area. He said the main reason he experimented with it was to find a cultivar that would complement establishing lucerne in the area. “Medic is a winter active, whereas lucerne is more winter neutral,” he said. Options such as phalaris and grasses tended to take over during early spring which made establishing the lucerne successfully an issue. The Cavalier medic was planted with L70 lucerne on March 24 with 3 kilograms per hectare of the medic broadcast with gypsum and another 3 kilograms per hectare direct drilled into the paddock with 9 kilograms per hectare of L70 lucerne. A bag per hectare of DAP was also included after a soil test on the paddock showed it to be low in a number of elements. Mr Reynolds said sowing conditions at planting were almost perfect and both the medic and the lucerne established very well.
He said it was quite a hard winter with many extremely cold days throughout the period. Despite the conditions, the pasture mix grew well and, by spring, had produced a bulk of feed. “It just kept going all through winter,” Mr Reynolds said. “Once the spring came it just took off.” He said there was enough bulk in the paddock to mow it down and bale it for hay, however he made a decision to let the medic set seed and provide options into the future. “I think next year we will definitely put the mower through and bale it,” he said. “Everyone that looked at it said it would make top quality hay.” A field day held on the site by the local Department of Agriculture was well attended, with many of the participants impressed by the growth and adaptability of Cavalier medic in the area. Mr Reynolds said he allowed weaner lambs onto the paddock at Christmas to feed on the pasture and also knock the medic seed out of the heads. At this stage the lucerne part of the pasture mix was hitting its straps and producing excellent summer feed. The medic will regenerate with autumn rains and provide an opportunity for early grazing and then a hay cut later in the year. Other options such as phalaris and clover could also be considered to direct-drill straight into the lucerne and medic stand to bulk it up even further. “Subject to moisture in the autumn, it will be an excellent winter feed.”
Hilton Reynolds, of Cooma, NSW