Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
Subzero hybrid forage brassica was an excellent option for early feed and cattle weight gains for Mick and Pip Doolan, of “Toorawandi”, Coonabarabran, in north central New South Wales. The Subzero was sown to three paddocks on the property at a rate of 4 kilograms per hectare in the middle of March, 2014 with the aim of providing early grazing options and weed control. Mr Doolan said the earliest paddock was grazed approximately two months after sowing and cattle were taken in and out through until spring. A 16 hectare paddock of Subzero grazed 65 heifers from late June to late August with the cattle calving down on the feed.
On another block steers and bullocks grazed the Subzero and did particularly well on the feed to achieve an average daily weight gain of between 1 and 1.2 kilograms. Mr Doolan said the Subzero provided early feed with the paddocks growing strongly during the autumn and winter periods. Seasonal conditions were not too favourable with dry conditions leading into spring and it looked as though the feed had run its race. It was hammered throughout the season and provided a bulk of feed and yet continued to reshoot and provide additional grazing after rain in late November. “I thought it was dead for a while but it still kept on re-shooting,” Mr Doolan said. Other Subzero paddocks in the area also responded to the rainfall continued to produce feed through the summer period. Mr Doolan said Subzero was a good substitute for oats to provide that early feed and also had the option of difference herbicide to control problem weeds.
Subzero provided an opportunity to clean up paddocks that had bad barley grass issues and the brassica received a grass selective herbicide applied after emergence. “With a dry start to the year we were looking for a quick feed option and extra grazing to finish cattle,” Mr Doolan said. “Subzero provided an opportunity to clean up barley grass problem paddocks for future crops and pastures while fattening cattle at the same time. We were able to kill two birds with one stone.” “We were very pleased with it and the cattle enjoyed it too.” He said the cattle had access to an adjacent grassy paddock and hay to help them adapt to the feed.
Mick Doolan, of Coonabarabran, inspecting Subzero feed three months after planting.