Hummer tall fescue with MaxP endophyte has well and truly proven itself on Bill and Jenny Heggie’s farm at Tambo Upper, east of Bairnsdale.
The Heggie’s run beef cattle and prime lambs on 1200 acres of land that ranges from river flats to undulating gentle rolling rises.
The farm is very productive due to Bill’s good farming practices of pasture renovation and annual fertiliser application.
On the river flats Bill has planted lucerne to make quality hay and silage, but on the lower areas of the flats the lucerne didn’t persist due to the high water table and occasional flooding.
After a discussion with agronomist Simon Hunt from Stephen Pasture Seeds, Bill decided to plant Hummer tall fescue as Simon suggested it would do well on the river flat loams that are quite often wet and have a high water table.
Hummer tall fescue is a new-type summer active tall fescue that can tolerate heavy, wet and moderately saline soils making it suitable for a range of different purposes on farm.
Hummer tall fescue tolerates waterlogging well, perhaps due to its deep roots, its ability to form a thatch and the MaxP® endophyte.
MaxP® is a novel tall fescue endophyte that improves the ability of tall fescue pastures to handle pest attack and moisture stress.
Fast forward 18 months later, and Bill has just done a second cut of silage off the Hummer. It established really well and is producing large amounts of soft high quality fodder.
“I have had 2 good cuts off the Hummer, and it doesn’t go rank”, Bill said. “You get more bales off it than what you think, due to it being so dense”, “The stock have preferred the Hummer silage over other silage”, Bill also added.
Hummer tall fescue was selected for its fine, soft leaves which are more palatable to stock compared with older fescue varieties.