Growing fast winter feed

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WITH paddocks tipped to be heavily grazed due to the dry conditions, farmers will be looking at cheaper and quicker pasture options.

WITH paddocks tipped to be heavily grazed due to the dry conditions, farmers will be looking at cheaper and quicker pasture options.

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A pasture update seminar at Culcairn next month will help district farmers and agricultural businesses find new options for growing fast feed for winter.

The Grassland Society of Southern Australia will present the pasture update with Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) at Ellerslie Park, on the Olympic Highway,one kilometre south of Culcairn on Thursday, March 20.

Speakers will cover a variety of topics to encourage improved pasture growth and production, and uptake of new technology and research.

Participants will also have the chance to inspect the Rennylea stud bull operation and the pasture and facilities of Ellerslie Park where proprietor Bryan Corrigan and farm manager Peter Govan will outline their ingredients for success.

Grassland Society Albury-Wodonga branch secretary Jeff Hirth said the "fast feed for winter" theme was based on an expectation that following the dry finish to last spring and the hot dry summer in north-east Victoria and the NSW Riverina, most pasture paddocks would be heavily grazed by late March.

"Traditionally producers have sown forage oats at high seeding rates to provide them with a graze-only-once winter feed, but we want to show them there are other more flexible options like brassica species," Mr Hirth said.

Based on current prices for forage oat seed, seed costs for sowing a forage oats for winter feed are about $100 a hectare, whereas the seed cost of sowing a forage brassica is about $45/ha, with the forage brassica producing similar quantities of dry matter over the winter.

At the update, an MLA representative will outline its investment in the southern feedbase and present tools to help landholders to manage their pastures.

Research manager from PGG Wrightson Seeds based at Ballarat, James Sewell, will provide tips on how to grow fast feed for winter, while Precision Farming consultant Peter Baines will explain techniques for the most beneficial fertilising of pastures.

The Grassland Society co-ordinates the MLA Pasture Update series in southern Australia.

Mr Hirth said the update aimed to encourage improved pasture growth and production, improved grazing technology, and to help producers to achieve the most out of crops and increase lamb weight growth.

The seminar will run from 9am to 3.30pm and includes a barbecue lunch. Cost is $10 for Grassland Society members and MLA members and $15 for non-members.

For further information or to book a seat contact Grassland Society Secretary Melinda Caspersz on 1300 137 550 or send an email

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