Biomass boost

Image of five men standing in a crop

Mr Faulkner (second from left) and Mr Potter (second
from right) with some of the growers (from left)
Edward Brown, Peter Wilson and Todd Twelvetree.

PHOTO: Emma Leonard

Improving green feed supply continuity in mixed-farming systems is one of the issues being addressed in a Grain & Graze 2 project. In the east South Australia node of the project, Mick Faulkner and Trent Potter are looking for ways to provide green feed to fill the feed gaps and to determine which crops produce the most grazeable biomass.

At the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group’s spring field day the research team discussed the trials with local farmers.

“Timing of the feed gaps varies between regions and systems; the autumn-winter period is the main feed gap for most regions but in some years pre-harvest can also be a problem,” Mr Potter explained.

For the autumn-winter period, grazing cereals and canola is proving successful. With good management and adequate winter rainfall these crops can also be taken through to harvest.

For the late-spring feed gap the team are looking at a range of different crops, including annual and perennial pasture legumes, high biomass cereals such as Orion wheat and MobyPBR logo barley, and pulses such as Morgan PSE 23PBR logo field peas. They are even trying sugar beet.

Results will be available early 2013 at GRDC Updates and grower meetings.

More information:

Trent Potter
08 8762 9132

Next: Deep fertiliser placement to restore productivity

GRDC Project Code AEA00004

Region South, National