Pas­ture & Fer­tilis­ers

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - Front Page -

YOU may not have heard about the lat­est star to re­ceive an ‘Os­car’, but if you had been in the au­di­ence at a glit­ter­ing science awards evening in Lon­don early this year, you would know of the Os­car-equiv­a­lent award won by the grass-breed­ing team be­hind Aber High Sugar Grass (HSG).

The Aberys­twth Univer­sity team that bred and de­vel­oped AberHSG won the most ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion cat­e­gory at The Times Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Awards, con­firm­ing its sta­tus as a cham­pion grass.

Ac­cord­ing to the judges, AberHSG of­fers the po­ten­tial to trans­form pas­ture-based live­stock in agri­cul­ture.

While rel­a­tively new to the Aus­tralian mar­ket­place, AberHSG is prov­ing it­self in pro­duc­tion sys­tems man­aged by pro­gres­sive farm­ers that fo­cus on op­ti­mis­ing dry mat­ter yield.

Germinal Seeds NZ Ltd’s gen­eral man­ager David Kerr be­lieves the lack of per­sis­tence seen in some new rye­grass cul­ti­vars is the re­sult of an over em­pha­sis on dry mat­ter yield in their breed­ing.

“AberHSG of­fers farm­ers a com­plete pack­age of proven per­sis­tence and stel­lar per­for­mance,” Mr Kerr said.

New Zealand sheep and beef pro­ducer Andy Renton also gives Abre HSG top marks af­ter grow­ing it for eight years and said it is miles ahead for both stock per­for­mance and per­sist­ing in dry con­di­tions.

“Aber has raised the bar for us to the next level,” Mr Renton said.

“The stock’s grass in­take is a lot higher, which gives them a higher growth rate.

“It’s given us an ex­tra 10 per cent on our farm sur­plus,” he said.

Thirteen years ago Mr Renton set him­self the task of chang­ing his 780 hectare prop­erty from a store farm that rears young stock to a fin­ish­ing or fat­ten­ing sys­tem.

“The lambs thrive on the AberHSG,” he added.

“There’s no stag­gers and they stay clean.

“In spring and early sum­mer our lambs have been achiev­ing live weight gains of 350 grams per day and that al­lows us to fin­ish 70 per cent of them whereas in the past we would fin­ish only 20 per cent to 30 per cent.”

Ac­cord­ing to Al­bury-based seed whole­saler, Up­per Mur­ray Seeds – the sole Aus­tralian dis­trib­u­tor of AberHSG, the grass has demon­strated two vi­tal per­for­mance traits in in­de­pen­dent tests.

Its con­sump­tion by live­stock can in­crease the pro­duc­tion of meat and milk by up to 24 per cent and re­duce meth­ane emis­sions and ni­troge­nous pol­lu­tants by up to 20 per cent.

Bri­tish su­per­mar­kets ASDA and Sains­bury’s are so im­pressed by the per­for­mance of AberHSG they now pro­mote its use on their farms, es­ti­mat­ing an an­nual re­duc­tion of 186,000 tonnes of car­bon diox­ide while rais­ing farm profit by more than $18 mil­lion per year.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.up­per­mur­ray­ au.

GREAT GAINS: Sheep and beef farmer Andy Renton said us­ing AberHSG has raised his farm’s sur­plus by 10 per cent.

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