Making sure grass is always greener

15 Mar, 2018 09:34 AM
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Kevin Wines will be using the Forage Value Index for future pasture decisions on his Ecklin South, Vic, farm.
The FVI is another part of your toolbox in identifying what's best for your farm.
Kevin Wines will be using the Forage Value Index for future pasture decisions on his Ecklin South, Vic, farm.

When it comes to selecting the right cultivars for his dairy farm, Kevin Wines wants to see every bit of information before he makes a decision.

Mr Wines, from Ecklin South in Western Victoria, believes selecting the right pasture variety plays a huge part in financial outcomes for his farm business.

That's why he has embraced the Forage Value Index (FVI) as a key part of his decision-making process.

FVI is a rating system that helps farmers and their advisers to make more informed decisions when selecting perennial ryegrass cultivars.

It provides an accurate and reliable assessment of the economic value of perennial ryegrass cultivars, helping to increase pasture productivity and farm profitability.

Mr Wines is looking at using more diploid grasses for greater longevity on irrigated areas of his farm and will be using FVI to help identify the variety that will work best with the unique growing conditions on his farm.

"If I was renovating 30 hectares, I might put 20ha of what I am already using and 10ha with something new," he said.

"So FVI will help me determine which diploid is the better one."

The ability to access economic and performance values for seasonal dry matter production means farmers like Mr Wines can put solid science behind the anecdotal evidence that will always be a big part of decision making.

"When a new variety comes up I will talk to the sellers and ask who has used it, then I'll give those farmers a call and see what they reckon," he said.

"You talk to your friends and the sellers, consider what you already know and then the FVI is another part of your toolbox in identifying what's best for your farm. I think FVI is probably 25 per cent of the overall decision. If you don't use it, you are guessing for a big part of your decision."

"This is proven stuff, so if the grass doesn't grow, it's probably not the fault of the grass, it's probably the fault of Kevin," he said. You have to make every post a winner and FVI will help do that."D

For more information go to website www.dairyaustralia.com.au/FVI.

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