New Project: FEED365
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Article by Demi Vandenberghe, ASHEEP
At the year's start, ASHEEP was chosen via an expression of interest to participate in a Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development (DPIRD) and Meat & Livestock Australia funded project – Feed365. The purpose of this project is to research and redesign livestock forage systems to fill feed gaps, develop new feed base options and integrate them into grazing systems.
The project commenced in 2021 at the Katanning Research Facility, and this component of the trial was designed to evaluate traditional and novel forage species.
The Esperance-based component of the Feed365 trial will be over a three year period from 2022, and the demonstration sites chosen are at Josh & Tegan Sullivan’s leased property the Esperance Downs Research Station in Gibson, and at The Oaks in Dalyup.
Trial discussions were undertaken at a meeting in February between ASHEEP and members of the DPIRD Feed365 research team; Daniel Real and Clinton Revell. ASHEEP was represented by Mark Walter, Dave Vandenberghe, site host Josh Sullivan, Sarah Brown, Jan Clawson and myself (Demi Vandenberghe).
The trial specifics were decided and seeding has begun for most of the trial. The component of the trial located at the Esperance Downs Research Station will span over two smaller trial-sized paddocks (15 hectares each) and a control paddock will be taken into account.
One paddock has a low-lying topography and is prone to waterlogging, which will be used in the trial as a permanent pasture system, this was seeded in late May with express forage oats, vortex tetraploid ryegrass, balansa clover, and RM4 vetch.
The second paddock chosen will be used to research pasture options in a cropping rotation and was seeded in late May, half with triticale, RM4 vetch, and brassica and the other half with a double rate of the same pastures.
At The Oaks, 10 kilograms of Tedera will be seeded into a small 5 hectare creek-side paddock which is unsuitable for a crop rotation but has a sloping topography, higher rainfall and little by way of drainage issues.
Feed365 is a four-year project (2021–2025) under the SheepLinks program that engages sheep producers and allied industries to re-design livestock forage systems for grazing all-year-round in Mediterranean environments. The SheepLinks program is a partnership between the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development(DPIRD) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), to underpin the future prosperity of the sheep industry in Western Australia. For more information visit www.agric.wa.gov.au/Feed365