Versatile Revenue – grazing, hay, silage, grain options for Toowoomba Dairy FarmerHarvest Declaration Form

August 7, 2014

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Roger and Nadine Blanch run a dairy and cropping enterprise at Millbrook, Clifton in south east Queensland.

Two years ago, on advice from their agronomist Donald McMurrich of Felton Produce, they decided to try Revenue, a dual purpose graze and grain feed wheat. While the crop is more commonly seen in Southern NSW and Victoria it is now being successfully grown in south east Queensland.

In the 2013 season their crop was sown in early May at conventional seeding rates (55Kg/Ha) and fertilizer (55Kg/N/ha) applied pre-plant, with the omission of starter fertilizer. A weed and disease control treatment of MCPA and Flagship, with Bumper fungicide was applied in early June.

After favorable growing conditions (a warm winter and above average rainfall) the Revenue was cut for hay around the 25th July, producing 9.4 (4×4) bales/ha (est. 240kg). The hay was cleared by early August and the intention was to apply urea on the cut area of crop, in front of rain. This opportunity failed to eventuate as the rainfall vanished.

September and October were dry months with no rain until the 14th November when we had 25mm, minimally helping with grain fill. The grain portion of the crop was harvested on the 29th November.

Revenue yielded 2.47t/ha at harvest in contrast to a standard bread wheat grown on another part of the same paddock which yielded 2.89t/ha.

In summary of the 2013 Revenue crop Roger said “given the season with limited rainfall from July onwards the crop did considerably better than expected”. With their dairy cows winter grazing the 2012 Revenue crop Nadine noticed an improved milk yield compared to grazing on forage oats. The quality of the forage produced by Revenue is one of the strengths of the variety, with Roger and Nadine confirming this through nutritional analysis.

Tim Ford, CEO of Feed Central, agreed with the Blanch’s assessment of Revenue;

“Year in year out we find that wheat hay, silage will test higher in both M.E (energy) and protein than oats and importantly more often than not has better digestibility.”

Roger and Nadine have grown the variety for various end uses including hay and silage making, grazing and harvesting for grain.

Revenue Forage Test                                                            Revenue Silage Test
DM 26.10% DM 41.80%
NDF 43.1 NDF 54.7
ME 12.04 ME 10
Protein 31.3 Protein 9.3
Digestible DM Digestible DM 67.6
Relative Feed Value 159 Relative Feed Value 112

After experiencing Revenue dual purpose wheat for the last two seasons the Blanch’s have decided to replace grazing oats in their farming system with Revenue as it has proven to be a more versatile and profitable option.