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NOPS Newsletter April 2024

Welcome to our 22st edition of "From the Field" bought to you by North Otago Pastoral Services. The following information has been selected due to its relevance specifically to the North Otago region.

Cereal Feed Options

After a long dry summer most of us have had some moisture and the outlook into winter is a little brighter.  Considering recent moisture and potential feed deficits ahead this is a good time to review Late Autumn Cereal and Italian options. 

Reliable feed from a late autumn sowing window, in most places I would expect a useful grazing of good quality from early spring.  Especially good to help lift cover across paddocks pre-lambing.  As paddocks come available either out of summer crops, or as autumn and winter crops are grazed, Oats can also be used to provide a spring silage option with good harvest flexibility while setting a paddock up well for next season’s direction.

Black Oats
Sow 100-120kg per ha.  Can be mixed with Italian for more reliable regrowth.  Black Oats may maintain leaf quality better during cold winter conditions than other options.

Magnum Oats
Sow 70-80kg per ha.  Flexible Oat for Green Cut silage timing options the following spring.  Good option to set paddocks up for Lucerne, Pasture or other cropping options.

With more reliable regrowth than Oats (in some varieties) Triticale enables more late winter – spring grazing options than Oats.  The flexibility continues through the season with Green Cut Silage, or Whole Crop Silage options later in spring/summer as well.

Forerunner Triticale
Sow 130-150kg per ha.  Reliable regrowth for flexible use.

WinterMax T100 Triticale
140-160kg per ha. Very winter active variety offering high quality green leaf in early spring.

Slower establishing than Cereals, but being grass, and having significant improvements in regrowth and grazing/silage flexibility, Italians are often the best option for this time of year.  We can custom blend with cereals to improve regrowth and grazing window options.  There are many different varieties to choose from, allowing us to alter cost, production, palatability and persistence to better match the situation.

Italian blended with Cereals
Sow 10-20kg per ha

Italian by itself
Sow 18-25kg per ha

Legume options
While it is late season for many perennial legumes there are Annual Clovers and Pulses which can be useful as break crops, or additives into mixes which will strike and progress during the cool season.  The ability to fix Nitrogen within a break crop and provide high quality feed options through late winter to early summer is very exciting.  I would suggest if you are interested in these options reaching out to one of our Agronomists for a discussion, as the implementation of Legume break crops tends to be quite different from the more conventional options.

Matthew Paton 

Drench Pour-on Specials - in store now

Purchase now, pay June –
offer valid until 21st May 2024

Chemical Handling Certificates

Purchases of Formalin and Diquat 
(class 6.1A and 6.1B chemicals)

To purchase these chemicals you  will need a current chemical handlers certificate otherwise we are unable to sell these products to you. 

Please email your certificate to: and the information will be entered into your file

These chemicals are liable to either cause death or serious injury or to harm human health if swallowed or inhaled, or by skin contact. 

Adroit Solutions provide training and certification, click on the link below for more information

For all your growing requirements contact your local team at North Otago Pastoral.