Accelerating pasture growth

Agronomists in the Western District are urging farmers to consider using Accelerate to boost pasture growth when pasture production appears to be slowing due to falling temperatures.

Notman Pasture Seeds, based in Purnim, conducted approximately 80 replicated with average responses of Accelerate gibberellic acid on perennial ryegrass of 606kg DM/ha in winter and 308kg DM/ha in spring per application.

Andrew Allsop, Notman Pasture Seeds, said boosting cool season growth resulted in pastures reaching optimal grazing height quicker, allowing for more frequent paddock rotations, better land utilisation and economic results.

“The rapid plant growth that can occur through the use of gibberellic acid was a standout result throughout the trials for our farmers”

“Along with the use of nitrogen, the Accelerate enabled high quality feed to be grown during winter & spring and keep production up to the mark”

Peter Notman, dairy farmer at Walcha and owner of Notman Seeds, said they were encouraging farmers to consider the use of Accelerate and compare the cost of that extra growth compared to current feed prices.

“With good grazing and pasture management it can be a very cost-effective means of growing extra pasture and reducing bought in supplementary feed” 

“It’s been a key to making maximising our winter production at Walcha Dairy and ensuring we can grow the feed we need” 

“The farm can get to quite cold overnight, but pastures don’t suffer through the winter thanks to the applications of Accelerate”

“For us it’s a no brainer” Mr Notman said.

There are significant gibberellic acid programs across the Western District, however Mr Allsop said there were still many questions about the use of Accelerate gibberellic acid, which he has kindly answered here:

When should I first apply? This can be as early as late April. Timing will depend on our location, soil type and the season.

What pastures types is suitable for? We’ve seen great results on most pasture types in the Western District, especially ryegrasses, cocksfoot and phalaris.

What is the timing of applications? Optimum results are obtained with minimum intervals of 27 days and selected pasture is grazed a few days prior to each application.

Will Gibberellic Acid produce the same quality pasture? Yes, you will get the most pasture of the same quality. There is no significant change to the dry matter, moisture content, crude protein, digestibility or metabolizable energy (ME). You will see plants often being lighter in colour, however this doesn’t affect the quality of feed on offer.

How long will the application last? Up to 3 to 4 weeks of accelerated growth provided adequate moisture and nutrition is available.

Can I mix it with herbicides? Yes, its compatible with a wide range of herbicides and it often makes economic sense to knock out the weeds whilst you’re spraying.

Can I apply to new pasture? Generally most young plants have enough vigour in their first season of growth, however this hasn’t stopped a number of farmers using Accelerate. A sidenote here is to ensure adequate leaf growth before application for the plant to absorb the hormone.

What are the ideal grazing methods? Pasture should be grazed no lower than 1,300kg DM/ha. Pasture grazed too low will not be able to absorb the Accelerate through the reduce leaf surface. 

Get in touch with the Notman Pasture Seeds at Purnim on 0408 439 795 or visit them at 1499 Hopkins Highway, Purnim, VIC, 3278.