The Ropa Family – Singleton, NSW
The Ropa Family are not new to S&W Seed Company and have been working alongside S&W for several years. Kyle has planted L56 Lucerne extensively in the past and has been extremely happy with its performance but is always keen to try new varieties with semi winter dormancy.
After discussing the advantages of several varieties with his S&W Territory Manager, GTL®60 Lucerne was recommended. This Lucerne variety is bred not only for high grazing tolerance, but also exceptional haymaking.
Sown in April 2018, at a rate of 25 kilograms per hectare, into a very well prepared, weed-free seedbed, S&W GTL®60 has performed better than expected, year on year.
“It’s shown me that it can produce high quality hay with solid bale numbers per hectare,” said Ropa family member, Kyle.
“Having a well-prepared seedbed is critical,” recounted Kyle about setting up his establishment program within his operation.
Good seedbed preparation is important not only from a weed control perspective, but also for the seed placement in the soil. A level seedbed will mean the seed is placed at the correct depth rather than too deep, avoiding germination issues and an unsatisfactory establishment.
Crop nutrition is also critical. Without the right nutrients, lucerne will not perform to expectations. Kyle applies 500 kilograms of Cal S from Ag Solutions pre-sowing and 200 kilograms of SSP Mo at sowing.
As a semi winter dormant variety, GTL®60 has excellent traits for handling hard grazing pressure. It has a crown that is protected by being set below ground level, providing tolerance to intensive grazing as well as vehicle and foot traffic. This equates to an outstanding persistent plant population, even after two and a half years in the ground with four to five cuts per season.
Producing on average 148 bales per hectare per cut, GTL®60 has proven to have exceptional forage potential and is a true dual-purpose variety.
Kyle went on to explain, “The bales are leafy, and the stem thickness is of a finer nature, with quality every time.
“GTL®60 has certainly not let me down. It has shown it can produce quality hay across various seasons while maintaining high plant numbers and is a solid choice in the semi winter dormant variety range”.
Image: Having a level seed bed when sowing lucerne is critical. Alternatively, rolling after sowing (as pictured) is effective.