Product Used: Bouncer Hybrid Forage Brassica
Bouncer forage brassica is being used as part of a pasture blend for its high protein and extended season on the property of Chris Ernst, at Singleton, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.
Mr Ernst said Bouncer was recommended to him because it was high in protein and could be utilised as part of the feed for cattle. He runs the Dehavalyn Murray Grey Stud in conjunction with their son Thomas. The Bouncer looks to be a good option for feed through the winter, spring and summer months.
At the start of April, a seed blend of Bouncer forage brassica, oats and ryegrass was spread out across a ploughed paddock and then harrowed in. By the middle of June the paddock was ready for grazing and cattle were introduced a fortnight later and progressed across the area with the aid of an electric wire. For the next 30 days the cattle grazed the area and did well on the blend.
Mr Ernst said the Bouncer component of the feed was quite noticeable from early on in the season when its vigour was compared to the other pasture species.
“It was more prominent than the oats and ryegrass when it went in and after feeding it bounced away again.”
There was good rainfall as the stock was half way across the paddock and the grazed areas really responded well.
“It was a foot tall very quickly,” Mr Ernst said. “It shot away well.”
He said the oats and Bouncer were prominent in the early stages of production and he expected the ryegrass to come into its own during the spring period.
As well as providing good stock feed through the winter, there is also an opportunity to cut the paddock for hay as a high quality forage option.
Mr Ernst said Bouncer was all leaf and hadn’t turned stalky and woody like some other forages he had grown in the past.
He said initial indications from the brassica were very encouraging and it would be interesting to see how the crop performs through spring and even into the summer period.
The other components of ryegrass and oats will have run their race by the time the warmer months arrive, however Bouncer has the ability to keep producing and provide additional feed options.
Many of the other paddocks on the property are kikuyu or paspalum based pastures which perform best in the warmer conditions, so Bouncer could have the ability of bridging the feed gap between the seasons.
Hay from the blend could be expected to be much higher in protein than hay from the more summer active options on farm.
Cattle at the Ernst property at Singleton, NSW