Host: Goldsborough Station
Written by Emma Taylor – Manager, Goldsborough Station.
The winter forage crop oats are an essential part of the production system on Goldsborough. We experience below zero temperatures through the winter months which frosts pastures. This reduces the quality of the feed and cattle will either lose or maintain weight on these frosted pastures. Oats fills the feed gap from June to October each year enabling cattle to gain about 1kg per head per day.
We plant approximately 2000 acres of oats and depending on the weight of the animal and the season we usually stock at 1 beast per acre. The oats crop is planted in February/March of each year depending on rain. It then grows with in crop rain and is ready to feed to cattle around June/July. The crop is about knee high when cattle are walked into oats paddocks and will graze the crop for 100-120 days. The average daily weight gain on the crop is about 1kg/head/day. The oats are only used to feed stock and are not harvested as you would a grain crop. So essentially our harvesters are the bovine variety.
We draft cattle into a weight range of 200 – 280kg so when the oats crop is finishing in October/November the cattle have put on enough kilograms to meet the entry specifications for NAP Co’s Wainui Feedlot. At present we are mustering all oats paddocks (2000 head) for turn off to Wainui from now until Christmas.