The Schmidt Family – Mundulla, SA
For Yarradulla Dairy, situated near Mundulla in South Australia’s South East, growing quality green feed over the arid summer period is critical for the milk production of their 300 Holstein cows.
The Schmidt’s planted S&W Seed Company L92 Lucerne on an 18-hectare pivot, after discussions with their local agronomist. They were impressed by the varieties overall production and its ability to handle the wet patches, which comes from excellent disease resistance in the variety.
The Schmidt’s chose the highly winter active L92 because they need as much feed as possible through late autumn and winter, along with good growth though summer. Lucerne is a great pasture to grow in the Mundulla environment and responds well to irrigation through the long, hot, dry summers that the region faces each year.
The 300-cow herd at Yarradulla calves all year round and is fed a combination of pasture, silage, hay and grain. The L92 pivot is direct grazed and provides kilograms of high quality green feed to boost milk production through the dry six month summer to autumn period, also bulking up winter feed supplies when the dryland is growing, but growth rates are slow.
The Schmidt’s are hoping to get four to five years out of the L92 stand and then plan to re-seed to keep production at its peak, and to meet the ongoing pasture needs of the herd. They are also planning on planting another pivot down with L92 this spring.
Image: Brad and Evan Schmidt, and Josh Modra (centre) inspecting their paddock of S&W Seed Company L92 Lucerne at Yarradulla Dairy, near Mundulla, South East SA.