Product Used: Outback Forage Oats
Outback oats have been an excellent grazing and hay option for Steve Reichel at Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Mr Reichel said they had used Outback oats for a number of seasons under both dryland and irrigation and saw the real potential of the forage in the excellent conditions of 2011. He said the oats were utilised in both large and small areas in February and March of that year and were able to be first grazed in May. The Shorthorn cross and Simmental cross cattle strip-grazed the larger paddocks, with the help of an electric wire, and crash grazed the smaller areas. In all cases the oats provided good feed and then regrew quickly when the area was spelled. “The first grazing the oats were knee high and the second grazing they were a bit taller,” Mr Reichel said. He said the good season and the ability of the Outback oats to come back quickly meant they were able to get two good grazings from it before locking it up for a cut of hay. “We filled the hay sheds,” he said. That Outback. It’s good stuff.”
The hay produced was kept on the property and provided a valuable feed option as the season dried off during the spring of 2012. “I can remember having to buy in hay during the drought,” Mr Reichel said. “I never want to do that again.” He said he really liked how Outback provided two good grazings and the option of making hay at the end of the season. “It also has good broad leaves and stands well in the paddock. It was all still standing up when we were a bit late for some of it. “The hay made at the end was nice and sweet as well.” Hills, gullies and flat country are included on the property, with Outback oats performing well under a range of soil types and conditions. The oats were planted at a rate of 60 to 70 kilograms per hectare and had Granulock 15 prior to sowing with some areas getting additional fertiliser after the second grazing. During 2011 approximately two thirds of the oats planted were under dryland conditions, with the yields from grazing and hay very similar to the irrigated areas. In a year of good rainfall there was a break in the weather to cut the oats and harvest the hay without it getting wet.
Steve and Harry Reichel, Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales