Horse Pasture

Horse Pasture

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Healthy horses grazing on Australian native grasses

The ONLY true low-sugar horse pasture seed mix available in Australia

Are your horses getting the right nutrition?

Are you worried about your horses diet? Are grasses containing non-structural carbohydrates causing illness in your horse?

Have you considered sowing native Australian horse pasture seed mixes???

Australian native grasses are low in NSC’s and are highly palatable for horses.

You could be throwing $$$ away on vet bills every year!

Native grasses are:

  • Low in NSCs to prevent laminitis
  • Highly palatable
  • Self-fertilising
  • Low maintenance
  • Cost effective!

Why wait? Your horses health should not be pushed aside. Don’t wait until it’s TOO LATE!

All new Gallop Horse Pasture Seed Mix

We’ve custom selected some of the best, low NSC pasture grasses to help in the prevention of laminitis in your horses and ponies!

Buy Gallop Horse Pasture Seed Mix online!

Call us now to discuss your seed requirements on 1300 4 73337 or visit our online store to buy seed TODAY!

How to sow Gallop Horse Pasture

This mix comprises three cool season native grasses – wheat grass, wallaby grass and weeping grass all of which will germinate over the cooler months from Autumn through to mid Spring in southern Australia. They are dependant on adequate soil moisture for germination and will not germinate if the soil is dry or becomes dry. Usually during the cooler months there are few issues with adequate soil moisture as long as the seed is buried a little way into the soil.

Sometimes heavy frosts can remove moisture from the soil so you might need to be wary of sowing in mid winter if you are in an area that is prone to heavy frosts. They can also germinate during the warm months but you will need to be irrigating the seed frequently to keep a constant moisture supply around the seed.

Further info on sowing pasture grasses with success

In response to a recent email, Dr. Ian Chivers gave some great information on how to successfully sow native pasture.

“The success from sowing is strongly dependent upon the preparation that can be put in. The more weed control you have completed prior to sowing the better. Similarly the more of a seedbed created prior to sowing the better.

At one end of the spectrum there is simply sowing onto existing pasture with no seedbed preparation which will yield very few seedlings and the pasture will not change much. At the other end is full seedbed preparation involving cultivation (possibly chemical as well as mechanical) and drilling seeding into the top layer of soil – this will yield the greatest results. In between are a host of alternative methods, dragging harrows and broadcasting, broadcasting and then running sheep over to trample the seed in, mulching after broadcast, drilling over denuded areas, and so on. They all will yield intermediate results.

The key ingredients are to remove as much as possible of the existing weed burden and to create a method for getting the seed into contact with the soil, and preferably buried under 5 to 10 mm of soil. These steps are important as they will help to firstly remove weed completion to the emerging seedlings and hence to increase survival rates through to maturity. Secondly they help to keep a higher content of moisture in the soil around the seed, which for most species is the trigger for germination.

If you are sowing our Gallop horse pasture it is best sown in the cooler months when there is adequate moisture retention around the seed, so for you in WA the sowing window will extend from April until around September.

Once sown please keep the horses off the area for at least 5 months until the plants are large enough to tolerate trampling and grazing. I would encourage you to allow one season of seed production prior to grazing if that is possible.

A handy hint her is to put two pegs in the ground about 1 metre apart in a place which is typical of the paddock and where it is easy for you to examine. Into this row sow a single row of seed and bury it. This will then become your guide as to seedling germination and identification. It will tell you when your Gallop horse pasture is germinating and what the various seedlings look like. Remember they are not all going to germinate on the same day, but at least it will show you exactly what is coming up.

I hope this helps.

Ian Chivers”

Native Pasture

Categories:
Native pasture grasses

Native Pasture grasses for your animals!

Click to browse our top quality native pasture grasses in our online store!

More beef cattle and sheep graze on native grasses than on other pasture grasses in all the grazing areas of Australia. This is because extensive areas of rangeland are grazed at very low stocking rates. However, there is also a large amount of grazing that occurs on the so-called natural pastures of southern Australia where either pasture renovation has not occurred or where the native grasses have re-established onto previously cultivated land

Many graziers are now realising that there is considerable benefit in having native grasses in their pastures or as the main bulk of the pasture. The native grasses are known to be highly persistent, highly tolerant of poor soil and environmental conditions, well adapted to the range of soils found in Australia and reliably able to produce forage of high quality. They have been present in Australia for many millions of years and have adapted to being grazed regularly, so it should be no surprise that they are quite capable of producing high value pastures.

The following data was provided by Meredith Mitchell, Research scientist, with the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria at the Corowa Field Day on March 15, 2005.

 

The keys to managing native grass pastures are as follows:

  1. Complete an audit of native pasture to see what plants are there.
  2. Develop a plan for management of the pasture
  3. Manage grazing pressure
  4. Manage fertiliser inputs carefully
  5. Introduce a suitable legume.

 

 

Existing native grass pastures Many graziers are lucky enough to have large populations of native grasses on their properties and to have pastures that are predominantly comprised of native grasses. In these cases careful management will produce great benefits. There is now considerable data to suggest that native grass pastures in low fertility conditions, if rotationally grazed rather than being set-stocked, are able to produce more wool or beef than exotic annual grass pastures. The key to management of these pastures is a correct identification of the grasses that are present and based on that, an understanding of the correct management practices for those grasses in the location and with the environmental conditions of that season.

A number of surveys have shown that many of these native-dominated pastures have arisen from pastures previously sown to exotic species, but where the exotic species have declined to very low levels through drought, high temperatures, low pH or low soil fertility. Under these conditions the natives have grown well and become dominant and highly productive.

Often it is the presence of nearby paddocks of native grasses that helps to provide seed for the re-establishment of the pasture, or it can be soil-stored seed that finally finds an opportunity to grow. The management of the pastures to enhance the recruitment of more desired plants is the subject to much on-going work by researchers across Australia.

Establishment of new native grass pastures For those that do not have a significant percentage of native grasses already present in their pastures, it is likely that they will have to sow at least one native grass in order to provide a backbone around which the other species will develop. It is our view that the choice of the backbone species should be based on knowledge of the grasses that are most prevalent locally, the availability of high quality seed and, very importantly, the weeds that are likely to be a concern.

Our own experience on one particular seed production area has been useful. We had the soil conditions correct, we had a species to sow that was prevalent in the area, we had the correct season, but we did not have the weed control in place. We established the grass (wallaby grass in this case) very well, but one annual grass weed quickly became dominant. We ultimately gave up on this sowing and resowed the same paddock at a time of year that did not favour the weed and had a successful establishment. It all comes to knowing the conditions in which you are trying to establish a pasture.

pasture_recipe
We recommend sowing only one grass as a backbone species. There should be more than one variety of that species if possible to provide for more flexibility in coping with environmental changes. Once it is established and being maintained appropriately many other native grass species will enter the system, usually from soil seed banks, and the number of species, or the biodiversity, of the pasture will increase over time.

 

These native grass species can produce the following results:
Production (t/ha) Digestibility (%) Crude Protein
Wallaby grass 1.8 to 7.8 55 to 69% 10 to 18%
Redgrass 3.8 to 10.4 58 to 69% 9 to 13%
Windmill grass 2 33 to 72% 8 to 15%
Common wheat grass 3.4 to 7 63 to 71% 14 to 17%
Weeping grass 1.7 to 7.4 58 to 72% 11 to 21%
Kangaroo grass 1.6 to 8.3 62 to 68% 8 to 11%

 

Common introduced grasses for comparison:

Cocksfoot                             61 to 67% 11 to 16%
Phalaris 66 to 68% 13 to 18%

There is no one perfect grass or legume. All species have both strengths and weaknesses for both livestock production and conservation.  Native grasses provide year round sustainable pastures on Australia’s thin brittle soils and low rainfall.