Bryan and Anna Speedy
Herbertville

“It’s good, really good, because you don’t have to transition on to it. They walk in, start eating it, and so you get growth rates from the day they go on.”

Herbertville farmer Bryan Speedy is growing ewe lambs for mating at 300 grams a day on Seed Force forage barley.

“It’s good, really good, because you don’t have to transition on to it. They walk in, start eating it, and so you get growth rates from the day they go on.”

Bryan and his wife Anna run a 680 hectare (effective) sheep and beef breeding and finishing farm with a ratio of 70:30 sheep to cattle. The property has 90 hectares of flat and the balance is hill country.

They grow SF AT77 forage barley behind SF Brigadier fodder beet and grass crops, drilling it into hills and flats. The Speedys retain ewe lambs that get into lamb to breed their replacements from and so a lot of emphasis goes into their feeding.

“We are summer dry and they are our highest priority class of stock. Our focus is to get those ewe lambs up to a weight for going to the ram and we make sure we grow them out on the barley.” He runs about 30 lambs per hectare rotated through the area.

Bryan has grown forage barley for five years. Initially only a small amount of seed was available but this year he’s planted 20 ha. He’s sown it at the recommended rate of 100kg/ha.

A three to four week turnaround after planting is a key factor for using SF AT77 forage barley. “That’s a real selling point for me. If it’s sown into a cultivated paddock it grows really quickly.” Bryan says weed control is easy and cheap post germination. A “whack with MCPA” herbicide is all that’s needed.

Bryan uses other Seed Force products. He’s just planted his third crop of SF Brigadier fodder beet (7ha), and next year will sow five ha of SF Force 4 lucerne. The Speedy’s farm is not far from the usually windy Cape Turnagain where gusts of up to 140 km/h are recorded.  Bryan says deep-rooted lucerne will provide reliable high quality feed going into summer when rye grass/clover pastures would normally burn off.

The Speedys have also used a SF Greenly cocksfoot/sub clover mix to graze calving heifers on the flats. It takes around 12 weeks to get an established stand and if it gets away on them he says the cows are happy to knock it into shape. “During the spring it’s amazing, almost like an annual grass.”

Bryan has dealt with Seed Force North Island manager Kerry Davidson for many years and says he’s always been motivational and readily available. “Kerry is here every ten days checking out the fodder beet and that makes it less stressful for me. Seed Force has a point of difference and it’s their post-sale support.”

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