Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Grazing and recovery of cereals in South-Western Australia

W.R. Smith

Department of Agriculture, Esperance Agriculture Centre, Esperance, Western Australia 6450

Grazing of very early sown cereals and recovery for grain yield is predominantly practised in New South Wales. In the south-west of Western Australia, oats are often sown dry in February for early stock feed, but the varieties are not suitable for grain yield recovery. A trial was sown at Mt Barker Research Station to assess the possibility of using cereal varieties for grazing and grain yield recovery in Western Australia.


Twenty-two varieties, including oats, barley, triticale and wheat, were sown after 17 mm of rain on March 28, 1988. The previous crop was rapeseed, and the soil a gravelly clay loam over clay. The trial included grazing treatments of once, twice or not at all by sheep at high stocking rates for two days or until everything was grazed to the ground. Dry matter cuts were taken immediately before grazing. Harvest was from November 22, 1988 - January 18, 1989 (plots were harvested at maturity of each variety).

Results and discussion

Table 1. Grain yield (kg/ha) after grazing treatments and total production from the twice grazed treatment. 0 = Oat, B = Barley, T = Triticale, W = Wheat


P < (grazing) 0.002, LSD 95% - 323 kg/ha.
P < (variety) < 0.001, LSD 95% - 827 kg/ha.
P < (G x V) < 0.001, LSD 95% - 2535 kg/ha.

Oats would appear to be the only real option for this type of system in Western Australia. They had the best early vigour and recovery for grain yield, but lodged severely if they were not grazed.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page