Hunter Valley farm Sprints through tough season with forage sorghumMay 15, 2020
Like most farms in the upper Hunter Valley last season, ‘Alabama’ at Aberdeen was desperate for a good soaking rain to relieve the pasture and feed situation.
Farm manager Vince Falzon wanted to avoid buying in hay, so he turned to forage sorghum to make their own hay and silage for the Angus herd.
“Our agronomist Ian Downey at Ace Ohlsson suggested we grow Sprint forage sorghum due to its good reputation for producing very fine leaves and stems, excellent fine regrowth (being a sudan X sudan cross) and suitability for direct grazing,” Mr Falzon said.
In late October, he planted 24 hectares of Sprint both dryland and under irrigation at 20kg/ha.
By the end of January, Mr Falzon was eying off his third cut until enough rain fell to end the drought.
As a result, the third cut was delayed, and instead of getting five cuts from the irrigated section, he got four, with a salvage grazing at the end.
“We got two really good cuts and the last two were obviously weather affected. In the case of the third cut, it got a bit rank due to the big rain, but it has proved to be a quick fix for us.
“The Sprint has been phenomenal for us and we are either using it here on farm or storing it for later.
“I must admit, with the hot dry summer it took a bit to keep the water up to it, but we now have good fodder reserves.
“Sprint is certainly nice and fine for hay and silage and is very quick to regrow, with massive numbers of tillers.”