Product Used: Outback Forage Oats
Trent Adams, of the Chatswood House property at Chatswood in the Western Districts of Victoria, had excellent success with Outback oats. Outback forage oats planted straight and also with a range of pasture species provided an excellent early winter option for Trent Adams, on the Chatswood House property at Chatswood in the Western Districts of Victoria. Mr Adams said they planted the Outback forage oats to approximately 200 hectares at the end of April with 45 hectares as a straight crop and the remaining area into lucerne and other pastures.
He said the oats provided good feed in the six to eight weeks after planting with the 45 hectare paddock of straight oats grazed three times during the season. The paddock was sown at a rate of 60 kilograms per hectare and provided feed for 350 ewes and their lambs during the season. It was also locked up after the third grazing and carried through for a grain crop. The excellent growth meant silage and hay were also options late in the season. Mr Adams said once the sheep had lambed down they went straight onto the paddock for a two week period before being rotated to another Outback oats-based area. “We tried to keep their diet the same,” he said.
The Outback oats-based diet proved an excellent option with many of the lambs weighing between 21 and 22 kilograms within 12 weeks. “By 14 weeks we had 80 percent of the lambs sold,” Mr Adams said. An excellent lambing rate of 120 percent took advantage of the good forage available during the season. The lambing program was intense with three distinct intervals between March and August, with the Outback oats forming the basis of the diet. As well as the straight oat paddock the property also contained Outback oats that were planted in a blend with a range of species including tonic plantain, lucerne, arrowleaf clover and ryegrass.
A reduced planting rate of 50 kilograms per hectare for the Outback oats was used within the various blends. Mr Adams said the oats was an excellent option to use within the pasture mix because of its early growth and the way the sheep adapted to the feed. He said the sheep grazed the oats evenly and allowed the other pasture species to get their roots established. “By the time the oats were finished we were left with the new pastures,” he said. The permanent pastures will provide valuable feed during the autumn and winter through 2010 and beyond.
Trent Adams, of the Chatswood House property at Chatswood in the Western Districts of Victoria