Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
The objective of the trial was to demonstrate that unlike Demeter tall fescue the utilisation and palatability of Hummer MaxP® does not decline as quickly as Demeter, making grazing management easier.
What did the research involve?
During the summer of 2013-14 the Agricom research and development team conducted an extensive grazing trial near Ballarat comparing the utilisation of Hummer MaxP® tall fescue to Demeter. The trial was sown in the autumn 2013 with the trial running between the 2nd of December 2013 and the 10th of January 2014. Sheep were grazing the fescue and were allocated 2.5kg of drymatter per head per day
What were the key findings?
The study revealed:
- the utilisation of Demeter declines from 60% in week 1 to 20% at week five
- the utilisation of Hummer MaxP® starts at 60%(week 1), maintaining high utilisation, then decreases to 47% in week five
- maximum utilisation is 60%, this is from providing more forage that the animals require (2.5kg/head/day)
It is important to remember that like all continental tall fescues there is a large flush of growth associated with reproductive growth in early spring and this needs to be managed with heavy stocking rates or mechanically removed and utilised as silage or hay.