Persistant, quality ryegrass at centre of NSW stud success

Pasture productivity is a central driver on the Gilmore family property in NSW for a good reason – producing livestock growth rates are essential to the success of his stud sheep operation.

Ross Gilmore runs Poll Dorset and Australian White Sheep on ‘Tattykeel’ at Black Springs, where he primarily sells rams, while also running a small Angus stud.

“Our system is all about pasture growth and the weight that stock put on in the paddock,” he explains. “In this higher rainfall area, we don’t like to supplementary feed, so the better the pastures are, the better the growth in our ram lambs, plus if there is no need to feed, it means a saving in labour and grain.”

Ryegrass plays a key role in the pastures on ‘Tattykeel’, with one of the most important characteristics being an ability to grow well through the cold winters to fill the pasture feed gap.

Ross first turned to One50 perennial ryegrass from AusWest Seeds in 2013, with its persistence being a noticeable stand-out.

Ross Gilmore, left with consultant Adrian Keith
Ross Gilmore, left with consultant Adrian Keith

“One50 hangs on well from June through to December, where a lot of ryegrasses we tried before were haying off earlier, so it gives us the ability to run lambs on paddocks a bit longer,” he explains.

“The growth of One50 through autumn and spring is fantastic, but particularly important is the good production it shows through winter.

“We are also getting really good growth rates from One50 on our lambs right through to our older sheep – they are all doing very well.”

Taralga farm advisor Adrian Keith also has a long history with One50, having grown it on his own property, while also having no hesitation recommending the variety to the Gilmores.

“I followed One50 through the breeding process, and once we started using it and putting it in a few new situations, it proved itself to be very persistent,” Adrian explains.

“The quality and yield of a decent perennial ryegrass like One50 far outweigh the older varieties, so much that I’d suggest it provides up to a 25 per cent increase in stocking rate throughout the growing season.”

Importantly, Adrian says while perennial ryegrasses are generally expected to be less productive than annuals in the first year, the production of the perennial ryegrass One50 in year one has impressed him.

“When you see the plants persisting year-on-year, it reaffirms your decision to recommend One50 to clients like Ross Gilmore and family for what is a significant stud operation,” he says.
“The Gilmores are the kind of people that will take a recommendation on-board, but if a variety doesn’t stack up, then it’ll be back to the drawing board. However, they have commented that they have never seen a better ryegrass on their property.

“For the cost, there is no better perennial ryegrass on the market – One50 is tough, reliable and produces well, however it’s the variety’s persistence that impresses me most. You’ve got to buy a quality variety that lasts, and that’s One50 in a nutshell.”

Perhaps the best indication of the success the Gilmores have had with One50 is the plans they have to sow between 70 and 80 per cent of ‘Tattykeel’ to the variety.

“One50 definitely suits us down to the ground here,” explains Ross Gilmore. “The only reason that we don’t go to 100 per cent One50 ryegrass is due to the high temperatures we can get in summer, but its autumn, winter and spring growth is fantastic.”

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