With the current good rain, pasture is plentiful. Managing pasture quality to maintain ewe and cow condition as well as maximising weight gain for the lambs and calves whilst still on mum should be obtainable by managing seed head on your pastures. By having enough pasture length to maximise intake per mouthful but moving the stock at a reasonable pasture residual to leave some solar panels will give you high pasture grow rates and maintain pasture quality. With the current stock prices, adding additional nutrients to drive pasture growth easily pays and will help with pasture quality and quantity.
If you are chasing feed for lambs in spring and early summer, one option is a brassica, herb and clover mix. This will give you very high quality feed available to feed off in weeks. This mix has been used extensively throughout the New England to produce heavy lambs over the summer months. Once the soil temperature reach 17 degrees, millet, Sudan grass and forage sorghum become an option for summer feed for your sheep and cattle.
Soil sampling is a great way to see what is happening with your nutrient levels and soil balance so they can be worked on during the spring and summer, for production and sowing in 2022. By knowing your pH, aluminium levels and nutrient availability you can manage stock numbers considering potential pasture growth over the spring and summer with newly sown pastures in 2022. By doing a feed budget and matching potential production with carrying capacity should limit over grazing and feed deficit.
The last of the winter weeds such as nodding and Saffron thistles will be elongating and becoming harder to kill, Lontrel Advanced in with MCPA will help manage these harder to kill weeds. Summer weeds like Bathurst Burr are starting to germinate with early management being the most cost effective.
For more information on pasture production to meet your grazing requirements or spray recommendations please call Pursehouse Rural Uralla. You can find our branch information on the branch locations page at www.pursehouserural.com.au/locations.
By Lachlan Jeffers – Branch Manager and Agronomist – Pursehouse Rural Uralla 0428 659 740