Product Used: Moby Forage Barley
Moby forage barley has been used to fill a feed gap on the Emmerson property at Clear Lake, south-west of Horsham, in the Wimmera district of Victoria. Geoff Emmerson said it was the first year they had tried Moby forage barley on the property and they were very pleased with the grazing and hay from the paddock. “It did very well. We were very happy with it. We’ll definitely grow a bit more next year.” The Moby was planted to a 70 acre paddock in early May and was able to be grazed by 400 Dorper lambs in July.
Mr Emmerson said they soon realised there was too much feed for the stock numbers and so split the paddock into five sections, using an electric fence to divide the area. “It gave us heaps of feed for the lambs and we were able to spell some other paddocks.” He said once each section had been grazed, the mob was transferred to the next area. “They would go in there and it was above their heads. We just didn’t have enough stock.” In the end, the feed was too much for the mob and the area was cut for hay and yielded more than 300 large round bales. “The hay looks really good,” Mr Emmerson said. “We put it out for the sheep and they really liked it.” He said the timing of the feed from Moby was critical with the colder months the traditional feed gap period.
“Winter is something we really work on and Moby is certainly going to fill that gap.” The first year look at Moby barley will lead to further improvements in the management of the forage in future years. Mr Emmerson said ideally they would like to plant it earlier in the season and be able to graze it with larger mobs of sheep at the start of winter. “We definitely know now we can get sheep on it a lot earlier, particularly if we get the fencing right. I’ll work on the same principles again and hopefully we can get better and better.” He said they had rams running with the sheep and so they were lambing throughout the year and needed good pastures. As well as utilising Moby barley last season, he also undersowed Cavalier spineless burr medic to a conventional barley crop.
“The medic is magic – it was up above the crop – and it was a reasonable barley crop.” That particular paddock will be rotated out of cropping to a pasture with the medic used permanently as another feed option.
Jake Emerson inspecting Moby barley at Clear Lake, Vic, last season.