Tactics for integrated weed management
Windmill grass is a useful pasture species, providing forage over the summer/autumn feed gap. It is tolerant of drought and saline conditions and can be grazed heavily and repeatedly. Nutritionally, it is comparable to senesced subterranean-clover based pasture or wheat stubble and sheep will preferentially graze windmill grass prior to seed head production.
|Pasture characteristic||Windmill grass||Sub-clover based pasture||Wheat stubble|
|Digestible dry matter (%)||61-63||49-64||43-52|
|Crude protein (%)||10.4-14.2||6.8-12.2||2.5-6.5|
|Metabolisable energy (MJ/kg)||8.8-9.1||5.7-9.0||5.8-7.0|
Dry biomass of windmill grass over summer in the central wheatbelt ranges from 0-1460kg/ha, depending on seasonal conditions. Given that paddocks in WA should not be grazed below 500kg of dry matter/ha to avoid erosion and sheep will trample/ruin approximately 30% of available dry matter, then 1460kg/ha of dry biomass will provide 877 grazing days/ha (that is, approximately 30 days for 30 sheep/ha), assuming that sheep are maintained at condition score 2 (that is, sheep maintained in a lean but healthy condition).