GRDC is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing research, development and extension to deliver improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.
Nuffield Australia 2020 Scholarship winner
From Raywood in Victoria, Dustin Pascoe receives a Nuffield Scholarship with support from the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) to research the benefits of grazing crops to fill the winter feed gap in a changing climate.
Running a 1,450 self-replacing Merino ewe flock and growing cereals, hay and oilseeds across his 1,578-hectare farm, Dustin has been grazing roughly half of his cereal crops to both fill the winter feed shortage and split his exposure to frost risk.
“Realising that the changing climate is impacting the reliability and amount of winter feed available, I want to further research the benefits and disadvantages of grazing crops,” Dustin said.
“Grazing crops can allow more stock to be carried through winter, while freeing up grazing pressure on pasture paddocks and staggering exposure to frost risk by delaying growth stages of the grazed crops.”
Having conducted trials for the past four years on his own farm, Dustin has observed improved animal health and better pasture paddock performance, as well as reduced labour input through avoidance of supplementary feeding.
He aims to use his Nuffield Scholarship to gather data from around the world and further quantify the pros and cons of grazing crops, and the impact it can have to a farm business’s bottom line.