Product Used: Outback Forage Oats
Outback oats were used to turn an ordinary paddock into excellent feed throughout winter and spring on the property of Mick Bladwell, at Towrang, near Goulburn in New South Wales. Mr Bladwell said the oats were able to produce good feed for ewes and lambs over the winter months despite not being planted until late April. “I wanted it in a bit earlier because where I live it turns cold quite quickly. The oats kept going through winter through frosts of -4º and -5º.” The 130 acres of oats was split into four areas and a mob of 70 lambs and their ewes allowed to graze each section over the winter. “They would graze one area for a week or so and then move onto the next one,” Mr Bladwell said. He said the oats recovered well when the areas were spelled between grazings and the lambs grew well off the feed. Lambing occurred in April and the stock were moved onto the oats shortly afterwards. “We didn’t have a lot of rain until after September. They flogged it out and chewed the oats right off.
It is good to get a bit of green pick.” The majority of the lambs were sold to market in mid – October, with the Outbacks taking them through to market in very good condition. Mr Bladwell said the ewes also held their condition and milked well on the feed. The country planted to oats was generally unproductive in recent years and was treated with lime, fallowed and ploughed prior to the Outbacks going in. “It is just a bit of trial and error on what you want to do and how it suits your area,” Mr Bladwell said. Next season Outback oats will be planted again to the same area although Moby barley is also being considered as an early-sown option. Both cereal forage options will be considered for sowing in February or March to take advantage of the better weather conditions at that time of year. Mr Bladwell said the warmer weather would help the forage go ahead and provide good feed prior to the winter months
Mick Bladwell, at Towrang, near Goulburn, NSW