WESTERN Victorian lamb producers James Sobey and Casey Guy from Caverndale Farming need a lot of quality grazing to keep the feed up to their lambs and have found Mohaka tetraploid hybrid ryegrass fits the bill.
James and Casey’s lamb production business is focused on fattening around 2500 lambs a year for the export market at their farm at Blowhard, west of Creswick.
Lambs from their own ewes are supplemented with lambs bought in October, all of which are expected to double in weight by late summer or autumn the next year.
To help them keep up with the surge in seasonal feed requirements, James and Casey feed out lucerne silage and have recently added the new high-quality pasture, Mohaka hybrid ryegrass.
Mohaka was bred to combine the performance of fast-growing Italian varieties with greater persistence.
In commercial trials, Mohaka has shown additional growth throughout the growing season compared with similar pasture types.
James and Casey were given the opportunity to try the new variety in 2020 before its general release in 2021, making them among the first farmers in Victoria to see Mohaka growing.
Initially, they planted 10 hectares of Mohaka in one paddock, following that up with two more paddocks the next year.
“We rely a lot on our lucerne for silage and for grazing, but we also need some grass through the year, especially in late spring and early summer while we wait for the lucerne to come back into production,” explained Mr Sobey.
“This is where Mohaka has been really valuable, providing us with a lot of grazing when other grasses are going to seed.
Mr Sobey said last year’s spring pasture growth was slower than usual, due to cold and wet
conditions. Some paddocks were completely inundated with water.
When the warmer weather returned in late November to kick along growth, he said most of the pasture paddocks were already starting to lose quality and run up to seed. But not the Mohaka.
With a later flowering date than most other pastures, Mohaka can produce high quality feed very late into the season, even into early January in the right conditions.
It also provides excellent winter production, due to its Italian ryegrass parentage.
In late November 2021, they stocked their second-year Mohaka paddock with 200 lambs.
The new pasture has also provided some advantages with weed control, because of its thick ground cover and vigorous growth.
For more information about Mohaka, contact your local DLF Seeds Sales Agronomist or call 1800 619 910.