NEW perennial pasture cultivar Lanza tedera has proven its worth as a valuable autumn sheep feed option even after being harvested for seed on a Western Australian property.
Dandaragan farmers David and Richard Brown and their stock agent were surprised by the performance of their store sheep on a 40 hectare paddock of tedera over a six-week period from early March to mid-April.
A mob of 225 sheep was run on the paddock for two weeks, before another 100 were added, a further 100 arrived a week later and then another 180 for the last two weeks, resulting in a flock of 605 grazing the same stand of tedera.
“While we had seen sheep perform well in department trials over the years, it wasn’t until we saw the results in a commercial sense that we were convinced of the benefit of tedera,” David Brown said.
“We were delighted that the sheep did as well as they did and how quickly they improved.
“It also impressed us how well the tedera performed and recovered, as it had only been harvested for seed production about 12 weeks prior to grazing,” he said.
“I would certainly recommend if people have a spare thirty to forty hectares to consider planting tedera as a summer sheep feed.”
Department grazing trials on properties at Dandaragan and Kojonup from 2014 to 2017, co-funded by MLA, showed whethers grazed on tedera could gain more than 200 grams per head per day and did not require any supplementary feeding.
Commercial grazing confirmed trial results
Lanza tedera breeder, senior research scientist Dr Daniel Real, was pleased the commercial scale grazing on the Brown’s farm confirmed the department’s experimental results.
“The result is a financial windfall to the farmer of up to 20 percent of the value of the sheep, by bringing the tail of the mob up to the same condition as the best quality stock with very little effort or expense,” he said.
“The department will be continuing its program of grazing and agronomy experiments with Meat 7 Livestock Australia over the next 18 months, which will help to refine the Lanza tedera production package for WA growers.”
Dr Real continues to work on developing new and improved varieties of tedera.
For more information about Lanza tedera visit agric.wa.gov.au
Lanza tedera was launched in 2018 and bred by DPIRD as part of the Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre, with support from MLA.