Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic
A medic based pasture proved to be the ideal feed to lamb down into, on the property of Jeff and Cheryl Roads, at Penshurst, in the Western Districts of Victoria. Jeff Roads said they had wanted to try Cavalier spineless burr medic for a number of seasons and eventually sowed it in the second week of April, 2011 as part of the mix with ryegrass and sub-clover. He said there was some thought that medics didn’t go well on their more acidic soil types but he was encouraged to trial a 10 hectare paddock. “We’ve bought medic hay out of the Wimmera in the past and it is brilliant stuff,” he said. The property is a merino and hay making enterprise so a medic hay option would be ideal. Mr Roads said the spineless burr aspect of Cavalier medic was also a positive for fine wool production.
He said the Cavalier medic plants were more prominent than the sub-clover plants during the middle of winter and it set the crop up nicely to be grazed in August, as they were pressed for feed options. “In the first week of August we put sheep on it and they couldn’t catch it – it went nuts. We lambed merinos down on it in September and October and the stocking rate was up to five ewes per acre. “We just kept on adding stock to it and it probably could have taken six. “It had 100 percent lambs on it and they were the best lambs on the place.” Mr Roads said he had initially been unconvinced about the ability of medics to handle the soil types and the conditions. “We found native medics here and decided if that was growing here then Cavalier would also.” The paddock was limed prior to sowing and the ryegrass sown at 15 kilograms per hectare, the sub-clover at 7 kilograms per hectare and medic at 3 kilograms per hectare.
Much of the paddock was still green in December and the Cavalier medic had also done a good job of setting seed for the following year. “I walked through and found Cavalier plants with seed pods on it,” Mr Roads said. “It is a prolific seeder and that is what we were after.” He said they were looking forward to seeing how the medic performed the following year and were keen to turn the paddock into a permanent pasture and also use it for hay production. “Down the track it will be our main hay paddock.” The success of the medics in 2011 meant a lot more of it will be planted on the farm in the future, with around 130 acres planned for 2012.
Jeff Roads, Penhurst VIC