Q31 lucerne, for superior chaff - Elders Rural Services
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Q31 lucerne, for superior chaff

Q31 lucerne, from S&W Seed Company, has proved to be a superior option for chaff producer Danny McShane, of Bagdad, north of Hobart, Tasmania.

For 30 years Mr McShane has been producing high-quality chaff for feed stores and the horse market.

“I’ve used a lot of different varieties over the years,” he said.

“Q31 is very different to other lucerne.”

Quality depends on dormancy

Mr McShane was drawn to Q31 lucerne because of its dormancy over winter and ability to produce quality hay.

“I don’t use winter active varieties because they are too hard to handle,” he said.

“Q31 is a lot softer than the older lucerne and produces more leaf.”

Q31 works exceptionally well in cool climate regions. As a truly dormant variety, it provides good opportunities for weed control, improved persistence, and flexibility in the cutting window.

Production of high-quality hay

The initial stands of Q31 sown on the property were challenged by the weather but persisted to produce cuts of high-quality hay. Despite extreme wet weather during the spring and early summer of the 2021/22 season, the variety rose to the challenge by producing a quality cut.

“The first decent cut was just phenomenal. There was a significant difference,” Mr McShane said.

“It’s really important to have it green rather than brown. I deal with a lot of horsey people, and it is all cosmetic. If it looks good, it sells.”

Q31 is made into large round bales and then chaffed into bags.

Flexibility with sowing and grazing

Lucerne on the property is normally sown in the spring, however the wet weather this season meant Q31 was not planted until January. It established well and will have a full season of production, starting in the spring of 2022.

Mr McShane said he expected three to four good cuts of lucerne across the summer and would then use the stand to fatten lambs in the autumn.

“If you get the plant number right at sowing, I expect ten years off the lucerne,” he said.

Q31 – part of the S&W Seed Company’s high-quality range

Q31 lucerne is from the S&W Seed Company range. The S&W lucerne portfolio includes dormancy and non-dormant varieties with a focus on high quality and superior forage yields.

Developed through a rigorous testing and screening program, the varieties are designed for a wide range of conditions.

Agronomic traits include pest, disease and herbicide resistance to assist growers in maximising their return from the lucerne seed investment.

S&W Seed Company have a global program that is focused on varieties that provide higher yields of superior quality lucerne as well as some new technologies. Salt tolerance and low lignin traits are two of the technologies being developed through the program.

Article written by S&W Seed Company for Seasons magazine.

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