Management

Dual-purpose lucerne strikes right balance

By Dairy News

Stuart and Greg Conochie from Kalbar, south east Queensland milk about 230 Jersey cows and have a structured feed plan including the grazing of GTL 60 lucerne from Pasture Genetics.

The lucerne pastures are typically grazed from May through until August in conjunction with Jivet Tetraploid Annual Italian Rye-grass pastures.

Through spring and summer periods when lucerne is in its peak growing time, round bale hay silage is cut to supplement the feed ration when required.

In recent years Q75 Lucerne and GTL 60 Lucerne have been the preferred varieties for the Conochies.

Stuart said they look for quality and persistence when selecting a dual-purpose Lucerne for their region and GTL 60 lucenre meets all their requirements, while Q75 lucerne is more of a premium hay option.

In April, the Conochies sowed an irrigated paddock of GTL 60 Lucerne at 25 kg/ha.

In the first year, the paddock performed well producing good yields under some extreme summer temperatures and large rainfall events.

Stuart commented that the lucerne was tested in its first year.

In May another paddock was sown to both GTL 60 Lucerne and Q75 Lucerne.

The Conochies said both varieties have a place in their system.

They are aiming for at least three or more quality years of production.