Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
Subzero hybrid forage brassica has been used successfully to feed sheep and cattle across summer, autumn and winter on the property of David Wells at Elaine, south of Ballarat, Victoria. Mr Wells runs a wool, prime lamb and beef operation and last season planted Subzero in the first week of October. He said a poor performing pasture is worked up and the Subzero seed drilled into it. Last season the Subzero was also direct-drilled into barley stubble leftover from the previous year. The Subzero pasture was utilised by both lambs and cattle from the start of January and right through to the winter period.
A mob of 80 cattle grazed one paddock for a period of 10 to 12 weeks with an electric wire placed before and after them as they progressed across the feed. Approximately 400 lambs were put onto an 80 acre paddock of Subzero and were provided feed across an eight week period. Mr Wells said he hit the Subzero paddocks with MAP after the initial grazing and it helped additional feed into the autumn and winter period.“June and July are our feed gap periods so Subzero can be used at this time,” he said.
The paddocks the brassica has been grown in are generally more loamy, with some areas lacking in good subsoil, however Subzero has performed quite well.“I would like to see it in really good country,” Mr Wells said. “It makes the most out of good conditions.”He said both the cattle and sheep did particularly well on the Subzero feed and it helped that they also had access to adjoining pasture paddocks to supplement their diet.
The Subzero held on well in spite of dry spring conditions prior to planting and there was not much rainfall as the crops were being established .Good rain did fall in January which really assisted the summer pasture crops and set them up to be used fully into the colder months. The Subzero areas were grazed particularly hard in the autumn time due to circumstances at the time but recovered well. After utilising the last of the Subzero pasture in winter time, the paddocks are generally sprayed out and planted to a late barley or late oats crop. This approach has allowed for good double-cropping options with six months’ worth of grazing potential from Subzero and grazing or hay opportunities from the subsequent crop.
David Wells, of Elaine, VIC