Webinars on silage and preparing soils for autumn sowing

lambs-on-pastureMaking silage, managing pastures post-floods and preparing soils for autumn sowing will be discussed at two evening webinars this month.

The first webinar – Optimising silage and hay quality – on Wednesday 15 September at 7.30 pm, will be presented by Agriculture Victoria Dairy Extension Officer Michele Jolliffe, who has 25 years’ experience in dairy pastures, forage and silage production.

The webinar will cover a range of topics including setting quality and quantity targets for producing silage, using nitrogen to boost yields and tips for making quality hay.

Mrs Jolliffe said silage is a great feed and can provide better quality than hay, but it’s important to understand what you need to do to get the best results.

“The earlier in the season you cut silage, the better the quality will be, and you’ll achieve better regrowth in the paddock. It’s a win-win, as you may not need to buy in as much hay later in the season.

“A common mistake in producing silage includes not sealing it quickly enough after it has been cut, which can affect the palatability of the silage.

“Other considerations include setting targets around quality and quantity and weighing the cost of nitrogen in boosting regrowth in paddocks,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

The second webinar – Soil and pasture recovery following flood – will be held on Thursday 16 September at 7.30 pm with presentations from Dairy Extension Officer David Shambrook and Livestock Extension Officer John Bowman.

Topics to be discussed will focus on spring management of soils and pastures, particularly following the recent flood and storm event, and preparing for potential autumn sowing.

Livestock Extension Officer John Bowman said farmers will now be looking at pasture repair after the floods, weed management and whether or not to re-sow pastures and fodder crops.

“Three months on from the June floods, farmers will be assessing the impact of flooding and waterlogging on pastures.

“Soils may be depleted of nutrients as a result of the inundation, so decisions will need to be made around spring fertiliser requirements and preparing paddocks for autumn sowing.

“How to deal with the proliferation of weeds coming into spring and summer will also be presenting a challenge to farmers,” said Mr Bowman.

For more information and to register for the webinars, visit the Agriculture Victoria events page.

For event enquiries, contact James Paulet on 0447 695 839 or email james.paulet@agriculture.vic.gov.au

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