Fact Sheet #35 – February 2009
Keith Bolto – Rural Solutions SA
A period of low feed availability or a ‘feed gap’ often exists in late autumn or early winter after the break of the season. This can result in the need for expensive hand feeding or reduced livestock productivity in the absence of supplementation. Grazing cereals early in the season which are intended for grain production is an ideal method of filling this feed gap.
Grain & Graze work done previously in the high rainfall areas of southern Australia has shown there will only be small reductions in yield from grazing before growth stage/score (GS) 31. However, circumstances are very different in the Mallee.
Compared to pastures, cropping can be a high input, high return system, and hence associated with high risk. Grazing these crops in the Mallee has potential to add to this risk.