Harvest not far away for Babakin farmer

Harvest not far away for Babakin farmer


Cropping News
Corrigin cropper and sheep producer Steven Bolt standing in this year's Barley Latrobe crop, which he said makes up about 90 per cent of his program because it "compliments our sheep business".

Corrigin cropper and sheep producer Steven Bolt standing in this year's Barley Latrobe crop, which he said makes up about 90 per cent of his program because it "compliments our sheep business".

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Despite frost losses, harvest will start in the coming weeks for Steven Bolt.

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THE temperature dropped to -2.8C in Babakin, near Corrigin, when the frost hit the Wheatbelt in late August.

The impact on crops was patchy, with some farms suffering greater losses than others, but for 50:50 sheep and grain farmer Steven Bolt, the frost could take 10 per cent of his yield across the whole program.

Despite the losses, the frosted crops would still be harvested, with the header set to start work in coming weeks.

About 90pc of the Bolt operation, 1400 hectares was planted to Latrobe barley this year which Mr Bolt said supported their sheep business.

He runs 2100 Merino ewes, as well as his award-winning Claypans stud.

The sheep produce about 150 bales of wool a year.

Due to a drought in 2000 and a late start to the season in 2001, followed up by another drought in 2002, Mr Bolt started focusing on pastures for sheep feed.

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He said his Margarita serradella pastures were sown into the barley stubble in 2018, with the volunteer barley grazed early and later "sprayed out to maximise serradella seed set".

Mr Bolt said the 60ha paddock would be harvested which he would keep on hand to be resown at a later date.

"The margarita serradella gives me three to four times as much feed value as other varieties," he said.

Mr Bolt said Bladder clover had been a successful pasture.

"It's feed value is really good," he said.

Mr Bolt said he is "complimenting a mix of sub clover pastures with some new varieties, bladder clover, pink and yellow serradella".

He has also been working with Murdoch University - which has been conducting trials on a small plot of the farm with new serradella varieties - which he hoped would be released in coming years.

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