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