Product Used: Moby Forage Barley, Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
The combination of Moby forage barley and Subzero hybrid forage brassica in adjacent paddocks has provided an excellent long-term feed option for Heath Pollington, of Nullawil, in the Mallee region of Victoria. Mr Pollington said they had been trialling the two crops for a number of seasons and this year planted Moby to 200 acres and Subzero to 100 acres in country not suitable for cropping. He said the plan was to treat both areas more like a crop to provide feed from the start of June right through until November.
The Moby was sown at a rate of 40 kilograms per hectare in mid-April, with the Subzero planted at 3 kilograms per hectare towards the end of the same month. It was the Moby that was first to be utilised, with the 200 acres grazed by 370 ewes and 350 lambs in the middle of winter. The adjacent paddock of Subzero also provided an early pick for the stock and surprised with its excellent palatability when it was still relatively young.“Our sheep really took to the Subzero,” Mr Pollington said. “They quite enjoyed it.”He said the plan was to utilise the Moby forage barley earlier in the year and then rotate between it and the Subzero leading into spring.
When the Moby had run its race in September, the Subzero starts to hit its straps and provide additional feed for the ewes and lambs right through until November. At that stage the crop stubbles become available and are then used, in conjunction with grain and hay, through until autumn the following year. Mr Pollington said they used vetch early in the season after a break in March and then moved onto the Moby when it became available. Traditionally growers in the area lamb down in April and May although there may be an opportunity to put this back to when more feed is available.“Next year we are looking at delaying lambing a month to take advantage of the Moby barley,” Mr Pollington said.
Moby has performed particularly well on the property in the past and one year produced five grazings and quality feed through until November. Its ability to work in conjunction with Subzero hybrid forage brassica to provide a continuous feed option from May through to November has been a key to its success in the Nullawil area. Subzero also has the opportunity to extend its season and can produce feed through the summer months if rainfall is received through that period. Mr Pollington said Subzero also had the added advantage of Goldstrike treatment with the insecticide providing good protection from insects early in the season. He said there were quite a few canola crops that had been affected by insect damage and it was good to see the positives of the Goldstrike treatment.
Heath Pollington, of Nullawil, VIC inspecting Subzero seedlings early in the season.