Chris Earl, with Scott Black from Luisetti Seeds, in the new Trojan paddock

Trojan ryegrass with NEA2 endophyte has got off to a promising start for dryland sheep and beef farmer Chris Earl in the Scargill Valley.

He sowed Trojan last autumn, picking one of his better paddocks to compensate for the notoriously challenging local micro-climate, and seeking both improved feed quality and good DM growth.

Chris and his wife Jane run stud and flock ewes, replacements and stud ram hoggets plus trading beef on a total of 538ha, including 220ha leased land, on the northern side of the valley.

Summer brassicas, cereals, annual and Italian ryegrass, lucerne and specialised dryland pastures are all part of the feed rotation, but it’s not always easy to achieve the right balance between persistence, yield and palatability.

That’s where Trojan looks like it could make a difference on their better down country.

Direct drilled into a hard grazed summer rape paddock last autumn, Chris estimates it had 2000 kg DM/ha cover by June, ideal for hungry, freshly shorn two-tooths. (Clover and chicory were already well established, having been sown with the rape seed.)

“They decked it, and I did wonder whether it would bounce back enough to set stock for lambing with a reasonable cover but we ended up lambing on it with about 1400 kg DM/ha plus, so I was really happy about that.”

Stud ewes were followed by ewe hoggets and the paddock then went into the rotation for ewes and lambs through spring.

Chris says the palatability of Trojan was obvious, when he weaned stud lambs onto the paddock. Given access to other, older paddocks at the same time, they voluntarily grazed the Trojan paddock in large numbers.

To find out more about Trojan ryegrass contact your Luisetti Seeds or Stapletons representative.