THE 140 round bales of biserrula Kevin Welsh has stored on “Round Range”, Eugowra, resulted from last year’s very wet winter and spring.
Some 10 years ago he was convinced by his local AgnVet agronomist to try the legume pasture and had undersown two cereal crop paddocks with about two to three kilograms of seed per hectare with on old Napier trash seeder.
“It was nothing high-tech,” he said. “But I thought it was a failure and just a few plants were found scattered about.
“A couple of years later we got some heavy rain and I saw these plants coming up and wondered what they were. They grow up to 40 centimetres high and have very high protein levels.
“In the last three or four years I have cut a bit for hay, but last year because it was so wet it had spread a fair bit over the property and came up so well I cut the 140 round bales.”
Mr Welsh and wife, Therese, run a mixed-farming enterprise on the 600ha property just north of Eugowra cropping some cereal for own-use grain and a 1500 head Merino flock of 18 to 18.5 micron.
In recent years they have increased the acreage of improved pasture with a mix of biserrula, serradella, Bellata, Glanna and narrow leaf clovers.
“I had a 5ha paddock of serradella but we also conducted trials in five paddocks of 2.5ha with straight seeds of serradella, and the three clovers plus biserrula,” he said.
These were sown with a neighbour’s eight-metre-wide Seed Hawk air seeder with knife points and pressurised hydraulic rams at 25kg/ha with 10kg/ha of clay.
Mr Welsh said the sandy loam soils lended to the legumes’ success and gained very good germination.
“My father told me I could never grow lucerne in this soil as it was too acidic.”
However, he limed the paddocks with 2.5tonne/ha and now has 160ha growing well.
Mr Welsh said he recently participated in a Lifetime Ewe Management course and a segment was measuring dry feed matter.
“We cut a square metre of a neighbour’s lucerne and the same amount of my biserrula and microwaved each and were all shocked when the biserrula came out tops.”
Narrow leaf clover is the “showiest”
STARTING as trials in acidic sandy loam soil treated with lime, this stand of narrow leaf clover has out-stripped any competition within the paddock, according to Kevin Welsh.
He and wife, Therese, run a mixed-farming enterprise of Merinos and some cereal cropping on “Round Range”, Eugowra, and are busy enlarging the amount of improved pasture on the 600 hectare property.
“Of the clovers I think the narrow leaf variety is the best at the moment,” Mr Welsh said.
“It was the most showiest when I sowed it and I had to slash it to spread the seed as there were big pods of it and the sheep couldn’t get through.
“It has spread up one end of the property down to the other, so I am now interested in what will happen now we have had some heavy rain.”
The clover was one of several in 2.5ha trial plots started two years ago and will extend another 40ha of pasture next autumn.