The combined BIGG and Mid North High Rainfall Zone Bus trip to the Fleurieu occurred on the 18th March with 14 participants heading down to visit three different innovative properties in the Sellicks Hill/ Myponga area.
The following points provide an overview of each property visited:
Alastair Just - composite ewes and Angus cows
- Pioneer in sheep containment having built a containment lot 15-20 years ago.
- Currently has 3700 ewes in containment. Ewes go into containment early in the year and then will stay there until 2 weeks after the break, they then go out into his hills country which still has dry feed/have not been overgrazed for lambing
- Mates in containment at 1%. Scans at 170%, marks at 150%
- Big focus on low feed costs in containment, including feeding 100% grapemarc diet at times. Currently ewes being fed a mix of grapemarc and potatoes
- Has permanent irrigation (lucerne based pasture) which he uses to grow out lambs
Samatha Martin – Family dairy farm.
- Recent focus on refencing to smaller paddocks (2ha size was up to 14ha) for rotational grazing, including building a laneway which has access to each paddock.
- Interest in mixed species and for first time last spring sowed a 11 species summer mix across 17ha of the property.
- 17ha multi species mix + 5ha of lucerne + 5ha of millet sustained 60 heifers over this summer. This provided both a feed cost and labour saving (in past she would have had to feed out oaten hay and silage to sustain the heifers over summer)
Nobles (Chad Baker) – Cattle and composite sheep operation.
- High capital being spent across property – new fencing, new containment, centre pivots, pasture renovation, new feeders
- Trading operation of 10,000 lambs/yr on irrigated pastures. Has 4 pivots, 30-40ha each – sown down to a mix of annuals (Concord ryegrass/chicory/plantain/clover), but looking to instead sow to perennials in future.
- Rotational grazing of lambs under pivots, on a 20 day grazing rotation
This bus trip was funded by the Red Meat & Wool Livestock Technology Group.
Thanks to all of the producers who opened up their gates and shared their systems with others, the learning opportunities and networking provide a huge benefit to other producers.