527 Old Renwick Road, Blenheim 7272

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Friday, June 14, 2019.
Thanks to Tom Small, I enjoyed a short visit to Blairich Station on Friday afternoon.
For some years now Blairich Station, under the present ownership, have steadily changed the make up of their pastures to better fit merino sheep and Marlborough’s dry climate.
Fescues, cocksfoot, sub clover, plantain, chicory, and in the past few years some top flowering annuals, balansa and arrowleaf clover.
All these species can be found within the sward, of particular interest being the arrowleaf clover, whilst present the numbers were not high, Mt Barker sub clover being the dominant legume on show. Rated as very soft seeded and replaced by more persistent cultivars, I would question the decision as Mt Barker at Blairich is very much a resident, sown 50 years ago, what more do you need.
Top flowering annuals are very productive, but require hot summer days (Feb) to soften the naturally hard seed content. Management can assist this process, select a few fields in a rotation, overly graze mid summer (Feb), bare the soil, raise the temp at ground level, this will greatly assist plant numbers in the autumn and insure the coming growing season.
In a temperate climate no single plant will provide for 4 seasons, but a combination of plants go a long way toward this, that is, mixed species pastures, the evidence is building.