Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
Subzero forage brassica has proved an excellent grazing option for dairy cows at the Cadell Training Centre, in the Riverland region of South Australia. The training centre is a low security prison facility and has a range of agricultural enterprises including fruit tree orchards and an on-farm dairy. Brenton Wood, from the Cadell Training Centre, said they were milking 58 cows at the moment and had been buying in the majority of feed in recent years due to reduced water allocations. He said this season there was an opportunity to plant a crop and they elected to put Subzero forage brassica into two padocks totaling 3.5 hectares. The Subzero was planted on April 8 at a rate of 6 kilograms per hectare with an application of fertiliser at 120 kilograms per hectare. Mr Wood said the forage took off and they were able to graze from May 31.
An electric wire was run from one fence to the other and the cows were allowed to strip graze the first block after milking each morning. A test conducted on the forage helped determine how much could be consumed each day and the wire was adjusted accordingly. Mr Wood said they estimated each cow was consuming between 7 and 9 kilograms of dry matter from the Subzero per day. The stock also had access to oaten and vetch hay after grazing and the diet meant they were milking well. Milk from the dairy is processed and used by other prison facilities around South Australia. Six weeks after the initial grazing of Subzero the cows were still travelling through the first paddock. Mr Wood said the Subzero had provided a huge bulk of feed and would continue to be grazed through the winter and into the spring period. He said the cows took to it readily and would eat the leaf and stem of the plant if left in the area long enough. Irrigation water was applied using overhead sprinklers during the early stages of the crop, although timely rainfall during the winter months meant it wasn’t needed as much over the period. In the last few years the facility has relied on bought in feed for the dairy cows but the introduction of Subzero has led to less forage being purchased. “Overall the picture is looking very good,” Mr Wood said. “I am more than happy with the Subzero.”
Brenton Wood, Cadell SA