Notman Pasture Seeds have a range of 'multi species pasture cropping' blends that produce good quality forage, have a range of different root systems, includes, legume species, flowering plants and species that will add organic matter to the soil surface and in the soil as root mass.

Certain species of multi specie blends are highly competitive with other species, so we have suggested sowing rates to ensure that all species are well-represented in the pasture blends.

We have carefully designed multi species blends for growers who are looking for an alternative to standard ryegrass and clover pasture blends. Plant diversity provides for a more balanced diet of protein, fibre, energy, and minerals, and these complex mixes seem to have an extra benefit for the soil.

These different species used in these multi specie pasture blends can be purchased as bare seed without seed coating making them suitable for organic farmers.

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LONG TERM MULTI SPECIES BLEND

  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Cocksfoot
  • Prairie Grass
  • Red Clover
  • White Clover
  • Subterranean Clover
  • Balansa Clover
  • Chicory
  • Plantain
  • Leafy Turnip
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SUMMER FORAGE MULTI SPECIES BLEND

  • Forage Millet
  • Forage Sorghum
  • Forage Rape
  • Leafy Turnip
  • Chicory
  • Plantain
  • White Clover
  • Red Clover
  • Forage Radish
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WINTER MULTI SPECIES COVER CROP BLEND

  • Forage Oats
  • Diploid Annual Ryegrass
  • Ryecorn
  • Winter turnip
  • Arrowleaf clover
  • Balansa Clover
  • Shaftal Clover
  • Forage Radish
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GREEN MANURE MULTI SPECIES BLEND

  • Forage Oats
  • Diploid Annual Ryegrass
  • Ryecorn
  • Vetch

 

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WHY GROW A MULTI SPECIE CROP?

  • Improve soil and root structure
  • Improve pasture persistence
  • Use water and nutrients more efficiently
  • Interrupt pest and disease life cycles
  • Prevent soil erosion.
  • Improve moisture holding capacity
  • Increase nitrogen with introduction of legume
  • Prepare soil/paddock for following crop
  • High quality forage for livestock
  • Increase production, healthier stock, faster weight gains
Walcha Dairy (2)

MANAGING MULTI SPECIE CROPS

Start on small areas and work out which varieties prosper on your property. Observe the results and then make adjustments as necessary.

It's important that with multi specie blends that contain broadleaf species (such as chicory, plantain) that we do not apply any post emergent herbicides such as 2,4D Amine or MCPA. This will suppress or kill they species in the pasture sward. Multi species do a great job of suppressing weeds anyway!

With all new forage crops it's important to introduce animals slowly to the new forage to avoid any animal health issues.

We are continuing to learn more on the interactions of different species in multi specie blends, so we will bring more management information as it comes to light.

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CASE STUDY: WALCHA DAIRY

“At Walcha Dairy, for our spring plantings we aim to plant achieve a good balance of fibre and protein with the likes of millet, forage rape, leafy turnip, chicory, plantain and legumes”

“Multi specie blends like these give us more feed than traditional ryegrasses, reliability/flexibility in drier conditions and probably most importantly our animals milking well off it”

“Some of the locals, namely beef producers, have marvelled at the amount of feed we have as they drive past, with the cultivars planted having had tremendous resilience to drier conditions and after each rain event their re-growth has been quite amazing”

Farm Manager
Walcha Dairy

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SOIL BUILDING FORAGE CROPS

The combination of different species anchors soil and provides weed suppression with its diverse canopy, also protecting soil erosion. The mixture of diverse root structures also builds soil organic matter and feeds soil microbes, leading to long term soil health and fertility.

Deep rooted plants in our multi specie blends can break up soil compaction layers also.

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BENEFICIAL INSECTS

Our multi species blends are often grown to promote populations of beneficial insects and forage for honey bees. We want to encourage naturally occuring populations and encourage population increases with a cropping species that provide feed for beneficials within the farming system.

Beneficial cultivars include:

  • Mantra White Clover
  • Reaper Red Clover
  • Chico Chicory
  • Trikkala Subterranean Clover
  • Arrowleaf Aerial Seeded Clovers
  • Crimson Aerial Seeded Clovers
Lucerne

WINTER FORAGE CROP OPTIONS including:

Grasses Legumes Brassica Herbs Cereals
Annual ryegrass White Clover Forage Rape Chicory Forage Oats
Italian Ryegrass Red Clover Leafy turnip Plantain Triticale
Perennial Ryegrass Subterranean Clover Turnip Barley
Tall fescue Vetch Kale
Cocksfoot Lucerne Forage Radish
Phalaris Field Pea

SPRING & SUMMER FORAGE CROP OPTIONS

Grasses Legumes Brassica Herbs Summer crops
Annual ryegrass White Clover Forage Rape Chicory Shirohie Millet
Italian Ryegrass Red Clover Leafy turnip Plantain Forage Sorghum
Perennial Ryegrass Lucerne Turnip Maize
Tall fescue
Cocksfoot
Phalaris