Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic
Cavalier spineless burr medic has been used as part of a ryegrass pasture to improve feed quality on a dairy property at Colac, in the western districts of Victoria. Local agricultural contractor, Steve Lynch, said it was the first time they had tried the mix, which included Cavalier medic, Rocket ryegrass and Turbo Persian clover. He said the crop was put in mainly as a grazing mix, but was also able to be cut for silage late in the season. “We grow a lot of annual ryegrass in the area but are looking at other options to make the soil a bit better and to provide higher protein feed.”
Approximately 28 hectares of the mix was planted across a multitude of paddocks in April and was rotationally grazed by a herd of 500 dairy cows every seven to ten days across the season. Mr Lynch said they were looking for the medic to set seed at the end of the season and establish again the following year, providing further opportunities to add nitrogen to the soil and early feed in the autumn. He said they also trialled a Jivet ryegrass and Balance chicory blend which performed well. The blends were grown in a challenging season with dry conditions early followed by a lot of rain and then very wet and cold conditions through winter and early spring. Despite the tough conditions, the two blend options did very well and will certainly be considered as options in coming years. Mr Lynch said he regularly liaised with the local Seed Distributors area manager, John Heard to discuss the different blends of species which could be utilised in the area. “John helped get it going and was very helpful with information.”
The innovative look at different pasture blends included a crop of ryegrass and medic planted in spring as a late silage option. A spring-planted crop has the opportunity to be cut for silage around Christmas time. Mr Lynch said the Cavalier medic part of the blend responded very well to the late planting and competed well with the ryegrass to establish strongly.
Steve Lynch, of Colac, Vic, inspecting Cavalier medic planted with ryegrass.