Grazing Stubbles this Summer

Key Points:

  • Spilt grain in recently harvested stubbles is a great resource for boosting growth in sheep.
  • A paddock grain assessment is vital in managing the grain load and risk of acidosis.
  • For growing lambs, the inclusion of a protein source (lupins) can assist growth.
  • StockMins-Stubble Starter is a buffered high protein supplement designed to assist grain consumption during dry feed grazing.


Grazing stubbles is another great example of the synergies between crop and livestock production. Stubbles, when grazed effectively, can assist in the growth and maintenance of livestock during summer, when feed availability and quality are generally limited. In return, grazing livestock help to physically break down stubbles to assist with future sowing activities.

Another useful by-product of the winter grain harvest is spilt grain within stubbles. As sheep are very efficient at digesting whole grain, they can make the best use of recently harvested cereal crops cleaning up spilt grain.

Ewes grazing fresh stubbles
Ewes grazing fresh stubbles

Spilt grain in stubbles is ideal for generating moderate growth in dry ewes, wethers and lambs, especially during the dry period when quality feed can be in short supply. Like most grain feeding programs there are risks involved. Care should be taken when introducing animals to grain, the amount of grain in the paddock should be assessed prior to induction and piles of grain should be spread out to avoid over consumption. To lower the risk of acidosis and support production, ANP advise pairing freshly harvested stubbles with a buffer and a supplementary protein source (lupins or beans).

Benefits of stubbles for dry stock:

  • Low worm pressure.
  • Keep wool clean from burrs and debris.
  • Spilt grain can help increase liveweight gain and wool growth.
  • Standing straw and a protein mineral supplement like StockMins-Stubble Starter and StockMins-HiPro can fulfil maintenance and often more.

*The nutritional value of dry feed significantly decreases with each rain event.

StockMins-Stubble Starter is a buffered, high protein, mineral supplement that is specifically designed to be fed to sheep for the first 14 days of grazing new stubbles when spilt grain may be present. StockMins-Stubble Starter is fortified with several effective acid buffers, like sodium bi-carbonate and acid buff® to assist in balancing rumen pH in sheep consuming high grain diets.

The inclusion of protein in the form of urea boosts the value of stubble grazing by assisting in fibre digestion and energy utilisation. In fact, it is commonly known that low level protein supplementation with a rumen degradable source of protein, can increase the utilisation of dry feed by up to 30%.

After spilt grain has been cleaned up in stubble paddocks, StockMins-HiPro is the ideal supplement to boost protein and assist with efficient dry feed digestion and utilisation. StockMins-HiPro also provides RDI levels of essential minerals, vitamins and trace elements to improve energy utilisation, immunity, fertility and all-round animal health. As mentioned above, stubble supplemented with StockMins-HiPro can fulfil the maintenance requirements of dry ewes and help get them in top condition for joining.