Product Used: Jumbo White Clover
A mix of pastures species has performed well in a grass-based feed program on the property of Karl Thompson, of Lake Bonney, in the south east of South Australia. Mr Thompson put in a pasture mix which included Optima tetraploid perennial ryegrass, Jumbo white clover and strawberry clover in late October 2010. He said they had three irrigation pivots on the property and renewed half a pivot every six years, with the pastures expected to produce and last over that time. There are also dryland areas of the property which are generally planted with annual ryegrass options each season.
Optima tetraploid perennial ryegrass was chosen to put under the pivot because of its ability to persist for a long time and still maintain high production and feed value. The addition of Jumbo white clover to the mix was also important as it has good persistence and will produce excellent yields over the summer period and complements the ryegrass well. Mr Thompson sowed the mix at 40 kilograms per hectare under a pivot. The pivot has a range of soil types and depth with the blend establishing well over the summer period. The dairy cows were kept off the newly planted pasture for the first ten weeks and then initially grazed the area in February. “We have a lot of older pastures and you definitely see the difference between old and new,” he said. The pasture was soon a full part of the rotation and was being grazed every 15 days through the spring and summer periods. “It gave us good feed from autumn through to summer,” he said. The dairy cows were able to gaze the paddock when there was approximately 3000 kg/ha of dry matter available and took the feed down to approximately 1800 kg/ha of residual dry matter. By leaving some of the forage in the paddock it allowed for a quicker recovery of the pasture and a more intensive rotational program.
Karl Thompson, Lake Bonney SA