Home grown feed im­proves profits

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

HIGH live­stock prices cou­pled with wide­spread rain have cre­ated favourable con­di­tions across much of the coun­try to plant win­ter pas­tures to im­prove prof­itabil­ity.

Kelly Burke is the prod­uct devel­op­ment man­ager for PGG Wright­son Seeds and said pro­duc­ing home grown win­ter feed is a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to buy­ing-in feed.

“We have done a lot of work around ma­nip­u­lat­ing the sow­ing rates of seeds to show re­turn on in­vest­ment from sow­ing rates in an­nual and Ital­ian rye­grasses,” Mr Burke said.

“And home grown pas­ture is cer­tainly the cheaper op­tion.

“If farm­ers can, they should be look­ing at grow­ing their own hay or silage.”

Mr Burke said a good way to value win­ter feed is by look­ing at the cost equiv­a­lent of buy­ing in sup­ple­men­tary feed.

“Re­cent tri­als con­ducted by PGG Wright­son Seeds at our re­search farm near Bal­larat show that a farmer can in­crease their profit with in­cre­men­tal in­creases in sow­ing rates from 20kg to 44kg per hectare,” Mr Burke said.

“The trial com­pared the cost of home grown pas­ture to pur­chased bar­ley and showed that cu­mu­la­tive ad­di­tional profit of sow­ing 44kg of an­nual rye­grass over a hectare was $96.50 per hectare.”

Fourth gen­er­a­tion Yarra Val­ley beef and sheep pro­ducer, David De Pury, planted Re­ward Endo 5 last au­tumn to max­imise the qual­ity of grass right up to Christ­mas.

“We were look­ing for a high qual­ity peren­nial rye­grass that would ma­ture late in the sea­son and also have good vigour in the au­tumn and the win­ter, so those key times of the year when we were short of feed,” Mr De Pury said.

“We are try­ing to max­imise the profit we get out of ev­ery pad­dock be­cause of the high run­ning costs - if we don’t run the busi­ness prof­itably and sus­tain­ably we won’t be here in the long haul.”

GROW YOUR OWN: Yarra Val­ley beef and sheep pro­ducer David De Pury and his high-qual­ity peren­nial rye­grass.

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