Healthy Soil Healthy People

Maximise Feed Benefits from Stubble

22 November 2018

With current dry conditions across many agricultural areas, it’s the time to make the most of any available feed, including stubble. Breaking down the ‘hard-to-digest’ cellulose component of stubble with Reside Digestion application results in improved palatability and higher nutrient value of the stubble as a feed source for stock.

Mixed enterprise farmers, Brian and Sandra Wilson, have been using Residue Digestion as a management tool since 2004. To manage crop residue and minimise machinery issues at seeding, return nutrient value to the soil and where possible maximise the feed value of the stubble during the Feb-May feed gap in their grazing enterprise.

Brian comments “We get a lot of feed value from our barley stubble with the digestion treatment. As an example, in 2015 we ran mature age ewes at 18 DSE on barley stubble we had treated post-harvest. The ewe’s maintained condition and required no supplementary feed for 6 months from December 2015 until the paddock was prepared for the next crop. Over the years we normally average 14 DSE during these months on stubbles. The nutrient value and palatability of treated stubble is ideal for keeping stock maintained during the seasonal feed gap.”

Brian has also seen results of a part paddock trial, where sheep preferentially graze the area of stubble which have been treated with the digest fungi, while untreated areas are still standing.

The specific fungi in the Residue Digestion treatment are designed to break down the cellulose component of stubble, which is often hard to digest, in turn this improves the palatability of the residue to stock and increases the nutrient value of the stubble as a feed source.

What is Biological residue management (Digest Fungi)?

Biological residue management involves the application of specific biologicals (fungi) and their food sources to stubble post-harvest.
Utilising specific fungi species speeds up the breakdown process, it acts by breaking down the cellulose component, stubble becomes brittle enabling easy handing with seeding machinery.

Biological residue management is applied as a liquid spray to stubble with a boom spray. It can be applied immediately following harvest, a light rain or heavy dew event. For optimal results apply to rolled or incorporated stubble to maximise contact between soil and stubble.

The liquid combines a number of fungal species selected from Australian soils for their cellulose digesting functions and to be hardy and drought resistant. Combined with the biological component are stimulants and nutrients the fungal species require.

Read More about the Residue Digestion Program



Residue Digestion Program

Read Full Article on Brian and Sandra Wilson, Mingay Vic results with residue digestion

Read Article on managing high stubble loads for next season