Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic, Caliph Barrel Medic
Higher nitrogen, better soil condition and increased yields have been produced on the property of Denis Humphries, at Kielpa, on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia with the use of a blend of medic varieties. Mr Humphries said he had been utilising the medic blend for a number of seasons and its success means it is now sown to fifty per cent of the property, on an annual basis. “I am really pleased with it,” he said. The blend consists of Cavalier spineless burr medic, Caliph barrel medic, Angel medic and Parabinga medic and is normally planted into paddocks that had contained a wheat or barley crop the previous season.
After one year of production from the medic pasture the paddocks are then rotated back to a cereal crop for the next season and then back to medic the following year. Mr Humphries said the benefits of medics during the cropping phase were obvious. “Where we had good medic establishment the nutrition was there. It seemed to hang on better and cleans the area of root diseases. It’s a win – win. “We are definitely getting the benefit in the cropping program. I’m a convert.” He said on some of their non-wetting soils, the medic phase tends to free up the soils. “They do wet up a lot more and are more friable. You can really see the difference where the medic established well and where it didn’t.”
During the medic phase of the program the blend is normally planted at a rate of three kilograms per hectare, although that can be increased to four or five kilograms per hectare in leaner areas. The medic blend is normally planted in March and provides a grazing option for sheep from mid-July onwards. “In a normal season they will graze it through to January or February before the sheep are put onto the stubbles,” Mr Humphries said. “It is like a living haystack in the paddock. The sheep do really well on it.’ The rotation of one year of crop and one year of pasture has worked particularly well over a number of seasons and will continue. “I am really happy with it,” Mr Humphries said. “The medic is just putting back into the soil.”
Chris Pearce (Elders Cleve); Cherylynn Dreckow (Elders Cleve) and Denis Humphries inspecting a medic pasture at Kielpa, SA.