Product Used: Caliph Barrel Medic
David Agnew, of Stansbury, on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia, inspecting a paddock of medic varieties grown for hay last season. A mix of medic pasture varieties has proved to be an excellent option in rotation with cereals on the Agnew property, at Stansbury, on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia. David Agnew said medics had become an important rotational option because of their soil types which suited pastures a bit better than crops. He said the greyish soil type over limestone was quite shallow and the blend of medics provided a good option for grazing and hay. The medic blend was recommended by a local agronomist and consisted of 20 percent Goldstrike Caliph barrel medic, 15 percent Goldstrike Cavalier spineless burr medic, 50 percent Goldstrike Paraggio barrel medic and 15 percent Goldstrike Tornata disc medic. A range of medic varieties were used to take advantage of different seasonal conditions.
Mr Agnew said the blend was sown dry just prior to Anzac Day last season, at a rate of 10 kilograms per hectare with an application of 80 kilograms per hectare of MAP. “We spread it and hit it with a stone roller,” he said. “It germinated really well.” The 22 hectare paddock was sprayed for grass weeds and Broadstrike herbicide was also used for capeweed control. “We grazed it lightly but not too much,” Mr Agnew said. He said the main aim of the paddock was to produce good quality hay which could then be used later in the year as sheep feed. The paddock was locked up and cut for hay during spring, with an average yield of 2.5 tonnes per hectare achieved from the crop. Mr Agnew said the medic blend had been used for a number of years on the property and was providing some advantages over other rotational options. Last season the medic was planted in a paddock that had grown barley the previous season. It will be followed with a wheat crop next year.
The medic phase in the rotation is setting nitrogen in the soil and also assisting weed control. “Nitrogen going back into the soil is helping,” Mr Agnew said. “With the weed control we are not relying on chemicals as much.” The medics also regenerate and will continue to grow for a number of years and provide grazing options. “After the hay was cut this year the medics kept on growing and then set burr (seed),” Mr Agnew said. He said the medics would survive through the following cereal crop and be a useful grazing option. The hay from the medic paddocks have been used on-farm to feed stock in the summer months as a supplement to traditional cereal stubbles. “It gives the lambs a bit of extra protein,” Mr Agnew said.
David Agnew, of Stansbury, on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia