Product Used: Cavalier Spineless Burr Medic, Caliph Barrel Medic, Bindaroo Button Medic
Medics will likely play a much greater part in pastures on the property of Tim Westblade, at Boree Creek, in the Riverina region of southern New South Wales. Mr Westblade said he noticed medics had persisted quite well over many seasons with barrel medic, in particular, still showing up in areas years after the original seeding, and in areas that had also gone through a cropping phase. He said they had tended to plant longer-season clovers in previous years, but were looking at a medic option because of its ability to flower and seed earlier in the season.
The evaluation of different pasture species included a trial on the property conducted by the local AgNVet store which included plots of medic, clover, lucerne, barley and oats. Small areas of pasture options were sown in late April and survived through a very tough season which contained very little in-crop rain. Mr Westblade said there was just four inches of rainfall over the cropping season on the property and very little fell during the spring months. He said during November, when crops were being harvested, the medic varieties in the plots had set seed, whereas other options were still trying to flower and struggled with the dry conditions. The ability of the medic to set seed and then produce more plants the following autumn will make it an excellent option for longer-term pastures. “We are going to increase the amount of medics we grow,” Mr Westblade said.
Over the past three seasons, Cavalier spineless medic has been included in a pasture mix with lucerne and clover, and this season the property also planted Caliph barrel medic, Silver snail medic and Bindaroo button medic. Cavalier medic has seeded down nicely over the last two summers and germinated well the following season. The trial site was cut during the season to simulate grazing and the area will be evaluated over a longer timeframe to look at the persistence of the pasture options.
Mr Westblade said it was originally planned as a 12 month option however they were not going to do anything further with the area and plan to incorporate the area, as is, with the rest of the farm program. “We will run the block the same as our other areas and see how it is in five years’ time,” he said. “I will see what persists and that will help us make our decisions going forward.” He said the growth of the medic in the trial was very similar to the other pasture options and it would be a key crop going forward. Early rain in autumn will help establish the forage and provide valuable feed options during winter and early spring. Medic could also be trialled with grasses to evaluate its suitability as a pasture mix in the area. The Westblade property runs merino sheep and specialises in the production of rams, which are sold privately through many parts of Australia. An open day is held in September each year.
Tim Westblade, of Boree Creek, NSW