Southern Dirt in WA have been operating a Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) project funded by Meat & Livestock Australia, with a focus on ‘Increasing profit with dual purpose crops’, since the start of 2020. The aim of this project is to demonstrate the benefits of dual purpose crops in a mixed farming enterprise, and to improve the synergy between cropping and livestock production and profitability through farm management practices.
The project is being conducted through a series of nine producer demonstration sites covering the Great Southern region of Western Australia. One site operated in 2020, three sites were completed in Katanning, Kojonup and Bridgetown in 2021, with three more demonstration sites to be completed in 2022 and two in 2023. In 2021 the three sites had three different crops; Barley in Katanning, Wheat in Kojonup and Oats in Bridgetown.
The key findings from year two are:
– Daily weight gain in ewe hoggets of 157 grams/day
– Pasture Food on Offer average growth of 55 kilograms/Ha/day or 500 kilograms/Ha in 9 days
– Crop yield penalty of between 0.4% to 11.77%
– Early sowing allowing an earlier grazing window (June/July) resulted in minimal yield impact of 0.4%
– Later grazing, mid August, resulted in higher yield impacts of 11.77% and 10.85% for the two crops