Australia. Grain crops that livestock can eat becoming more popular with farmers

09.11.2016

Plantings of dual purpose crops across New South Wales are expected to increase by as much as 10 percent per year in the future.

The Department of Primary Industries said farmers were showing more interest in the crops for a number of reasons.

Technical grains specialist Peter Matthews said the extra income and good yields were making more farmers consider using the crop.

"Between 10 to 15 per cent of the cropped area in New South Wales is sown to grazing cereals," he said.

"I think over the next few years as these better varieties come online and with a strong focus on livestock industries, growers will look to take advantage of this and we may see between a five to 10 percent increase in area each year."

Grain and graze crops allow farmers to utilise the crop as a feed source for livestock while it is growing and then later in the season after livestock are removed from the crop, it has the ability to regenerate and produce grain to be sold at market.

Mr Matthews said if used effectively these crops could provide another stream of income for livestock producers.

"The need for increased grazing or dry matter within a growers system has lifted," he said.

"With these new varieties coming through, they have the opportunity to graze the crop, potentially lock it up for grain recovery and if they do it properly it can effectively double income."

abc

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