Product Used: Bouncer Hybrid Forage Brassica
A blend which included Bouncer hybrid forage brassica has filled a vital feed gap on the dairy property of Keith Anderson on Pyree, near Nowra of the NSW south-coast. Mr Anderson said early summer was a traditional feed gap in the area with hot weather putting a stop to the ryegrass growth and other options not quite ready. Normally stored silage and hay is relied upon at that time of year, but last season Mr Anderson said he tried a mix of brassica, chicory, millet and lucerne to fill the feed gap.
The mix, which was predominantly millet, but included equal portions of Bouncer, chicory and lucerne was planted at a rate of 9 kilograms per hectare in the first week of October. Mr Anderson said they were able to graze the mix within six to seven weeks of planting which provided valuable feed at a time when traditionally the ryegrass was starting to die off. He said the early part of the summer had been quite mild so there were still some feed options around at the time. “Had it been a hot dry summer the feed would have been a real bonus. I think it is a good feed option between the seasons.” The paddock had previously been a patchy grass area which was disced up before the mix was sown. No fertiliser was used at planting although the paddock did receive an application of nitrogen just after the feed was first utilised.
Mr Anderson said he initially grazed half the paddock with the dairy cows but decided to then cut the forage as fine chop and give it to the cows on a feed pad. He said the mix was getting away from the cows at the time and they were leaving too much bulk which could be utilised better. “They had grazed half of it but it was just getting too far ahead.” Early establishment of the mix really impressed with Bouncer hybrid forage brassica establishing very quickly. “The brassica is doing really well,” Mr Anderson said. “It was up in the first few days and some time before the millet.” The Bouncer was also very quick to recover from grazing and was ready to feed again in just two weeks. Mr Anderson said the October plant was earlier than he would normally sow but it allowed him to graze the paddock a lot sooner. He said at the time the paddock was being grazed others in the district were just putting millet in so the October start provided a good advantage in the season.
Keith Anderson, Pyree NSW