Product Used: Australis Australian Phalaris, Balance Chicory
A blend of grasses and legumes have provided good grazing options through much of the year on the property of Tyson Mickan, at Yallunda Flat, on the lower Eyre Peninsula of South Australia. The blend of Australis phalaris, Ambassador cocksfoot, Balance chicory and Frontier Balansa clover was first planted in late May 2011 and produced excellent feed through the spring. Mr Mickan said small paddocks around the house and silos were used for the mix, with the aim of feeding rams across the summer and lambing down on during the winter months. He said historically the paddocks grew good clover, but also had a lot of barley grass so they were looking for an option to produce more feed and reduce the weed pressure. High stocking rates were used when the pasture was established, and the areas grazed down to very little. “The paddocks get a hard time over winter,” Mr Mickan said. “We run high stocking rates and treat it like a clover paddock. The perennials seem to be tough enough to come back with spring or summer rain.” “By the end of summer the paddocks are very bare and there is no barley grass.
We seem to be getting on top of it.” He said the sheep tended to target the grasses and would reach down through the clover and graze them through the year. Approximately 20 hectares of the blend will be planted in 2013 and will include ML99 lucerne, Balance chicory, of Australis phalaris and Ambassador cocksfoot. Mr Mickan said other options such as Hatrik clover and Cavalier spineless burr medic could be drilled into the existing pasture in its second year as another forage option. He said paddock preparation was important to ensure a good establishment and longevity of the pasture, with the areas spray topped and grazed hard in preparation for planting. The current paddocks on the property are utilised differently, with one set up for lambing with good tree cover and relatively flat areas. Lambs graze the area through the winter. The second and third paddocks are designed for the rams, with the stock rotated from one to the other throughout the time. Mr Mickan said they waited until the feed was about three inches high and then transferred the stock to it.” The ram areas do have some salinity and water logging issues in the lower parts of the paddock, with the grasses in the blend used to dry the ground up and make it more productive.
Tyson Mickam, of Yallunda Flat on the lower Eyre Peninsula