Why grow Multi Specie Pasture Blends?
- 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
Managing Multi Specie Pasture Blends
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.
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.
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”
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