Pasture trial reaps rewards for dairy farmers
An independent pasture trial is harvesting rewards at South West dairy farms, allowing producers to select pastures best suited to their properties to feed hungry herds.
The Western Dairy-led trial WA Seed Performance trial, dubbed WASP, is providing analysis of pasture varieties and management tailored for WA’s dairy industry, climate and landscape.
It is focusing on ryegrass growth at Matt Brett’s Dardanup farm on fertile clay loam and at Peter Duggan’s Cowaramup property on loamy sand.
Western Dairy has harvested at both trial sites to analyse the dry matter yield, with the organisation’s dairy pastures research officer Ya-Chun Yu buoyed by the results.
Despite early and mid-season varieties leading the yield, Ms Yu said late-season varieties had also performed well in the trial’s early stage.
“During our unseasonable warm July, we experienced higher than average leaf emergence rates,” she said.
“We expect that spring will deliver some more rain and average temperatures, which should slow down growth rates.
“I am pleased with the progress of the trials to date and look forward to producing results that benefit farmers.”
Dairy farmers and seed suppliers met with Western Diary researchers at Mr Brett’s Dardanup property on August 7 to tour the WASP trial site.
The event aimed to provide insight into the South West’s unique growing conditions, with a shorter growing season and less rainfall compared to other Australian dairy producing regions.
Waroona dairy farmer and Western Dairy chairwoman Vicki Fitzpatrick said previous trial results had bolstered dairy farmers’ pasture knowledge.
“Getting the seed variety right can be challenging in WA conditions, which is why Western Dairy’s trials are so important,” she said.
“They save us time and money.”
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