Product Used: Moby Forage Barley
Moby forage barley is providing the initial grazing option in a blend sown each season on the property of Trevor Carter, at Hamilton, in the western districts of Victoria. Mr Carter said they planted a blend of Moby barley, Tetrone annual Italian ryegrass and Turbo Persian clover each season as part of their fat lamb operation. “Moby is very, very quick to get up and get going,” he said. The blend has been used for a number of seasons and is usually planted just after the first autumn rain in April. Excellent vigour from Moby provides the early growth in the crop, although it is matched later in the season by Tetrone ryegrass.
“Tetrone is a lot quicker and more aggressive than Tetila,” Mr Carter said. Last season a mob of 150 ewes and 180 lambs were introduced to the 14 acre paddock ten to twelve weeks after seeding and grazed the area for a fortnight. The area was left to spell for a number of weeks before the flock was re-introduced to the paddock. After a number of grazing opportunities, the area was locked up and produced 96 rolls of silage when harvested at the end of September. Mr Carter said the season dried off considerably during spring and there wasn’t any opportunity to get another forage cut from the paddock. This was in contrast to the previous season where the initial silage cut from the same paddock in the third week of October yielded 146 rolls of silage and was followed by a hay cut of 86 rolls and further grazing into summer. The 2014 season produced some pick after the silage cut but was limited by the dry conditions.
Moby forage barley makes up a fair percentage of the initial silage cut, and it is Tetrone ryegrass that takes over as the crop moves further into spring. Mr Carter said they lambed down in May and June with the feed a vital ingredient in fattening the stock for market. “The ewes and lambs have been good.” He said the paddock was a handy option late in the season and would respond well to any rainfall at that time of year. “If we get some rain there is another month of feed,” he said. Turbo Persian clover is also included in the mix to add additional protein to the feed and also provide a nitrogen option to the soil. The paddock also received potash and urea at the start of the season and at various times through the year.