Trigger point workshop & pasture walk

On Tuesday 26th of September, Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG) with the support of SA Drought Hub held its Trigger Point Workshop and Pasture Walk with 13 producers attending.

Facilitator Deb Scammell started the day by presenting seasonal and livestock pricing forecasts to allow producers to enter data into a decision matrix (created at an earlier workshop with BIGG producers). The matrix is a useful tool for making decisions around keeping or selling stock and whether to containment feed or leave stock in paddocks for the coming months.

Following lunch pasture walks took place at two farms comparing multi-species pastures alongside conventional pastures in the same paddock. First stop was Matty Neldners at Marananga, with a trial of ryegrass (and vetch) sown in one section and a multi-species pasture mix in the remainder of the 8ha paddock. The paddock has been grazed by sheep twice this season and is to be grazed again shortly and both sections have produced similar dry matter throughout the season. Stock have shown a preference to grazing the multi-species section and a recent feed-test confirmed that the pasture on this section was of higher quality. Going into summer the multi-species pasture section is likely to give the best chance for out of season production whilst maintaining groundcover due to its plantain and chicory components.

Attendees also visited Ben Zander’s Angaston 6ha paddock with two-thirds of the paddock sown at the end of May with a mix of oats, ryegrass and clover pasture, whilst the remaining third was left as regenerated phalaris pasture. The paddock has been grazed twice this season and is now shut up for hay. Earlier in the season the regenerated section provided early production however the multi-species pasture is now providing increased production and quality. A recent paddock feed-test confirmed higher quality in the multi-species section.

A Croc trough pumping system and its ability to help maintain aeration in the coming hot summer was observed and discussed by attendees at William Hurn’s Angaston property. The trough is one of the water security innovations being trailed as part of BIGG’s On-Farm Water Security Innovations Project (Phase 2) in response to on-farm water security concerns in the Barossa Valley.

For further information please contact the relevant BIGG technical facilitator:

Multi-species pastures:
Brett Nietschke: or 0432 804 389

Trigger point workshop:
Deb Scammell: or 0407 790 622

Croc trough pumping system:
Jane Evans: or 0412 500 752