2022 the year to plan a bumper winter feed wedge

In 2022, many farmers are seeing a good start to the season. For pasture producers, this is a perfect opportunity to renovate tired paddocks which have been overgrazed in the past few years or have just run their course.

Are your pastures producing less than 6T/ha of dry matter per year in non-irrigated areas or less than 12T/ha per year under irrigation? If so, pasture renovation will be beneficial. Rainfall events in the coming weeks will allow for effective weed control and create good conditions for starting a full renovation program.

is the paddock full of weeds? Sow EziGraze

If your paddocks had high volumes of weeds in 2021 and low fertility, look at full spray-out options. Perform a soil test and amend any nutrient deficiencies or soil constraints. Sowing a cereal, like Ezigraze oats (Image 1.), is a great option for the first stages of your pasture renovation. EziGraze oats will provide quick, high quality winter feed. It has the same grazing management as ryegrass as it can be grazed at 15cm down to 5cm and provides multiple grazings. Follow with a summer crop or fallow, returning to pasture in 2023.

Image 1. EziGraze Oats

Is the pasture thinning? Oversow with Finefeed, Astound or Amass

If your paddocks are thinning but have good fertility and less than 5% weeds, over sowing will help bulk up the feed and reduce opportunities for weeds to establish. If the paddock is prone to pugging, sow Finefeed diploid annual ryegrass because its denser tillering allows for stronger, faster recovery. If the paddock is well-drained, Astound tetraploid annual ryegrass will provide good winter and spring feed and potential silage/hay opportunities.

If you are looking for late winter and spring feed, sow Amass tetraploid Italian ryegrass (Image 2). In areas where the average rainfall is 600mm+ it has strong persistence into a second year and has shown above average metabolisable energy (ME) and crude protein (CP) in feed tests.

Image 2. Amass, Penshurst Victoria.