Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
An area of Subzero hybrid brassica planted in late spring has been designed to fill a feed gap in January on the dairy property of Evan Hayes, at Robertson, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Mr Hayes said they planted the Subzero with an Italian ryegrass toward the end of October. “Usually January is a worst time for feed,” he said. At that time of year the dairy cows are normally feeding on silage so a grazing option is an added bonus. After providing grazing during the summer months the paddock will be direct-drilled with more ryegrass in February or March to provide feed options during the winter months. Mr Hayes said there was also a feed gap in on the property in late autumn, for Subzero hybrid brassica could be planted in February to provide another grazing option at that time of year. The spring planted Subzero and ryegrass paddock was sown into a paddock that hads been very wet over the winter time and needed to be ploughed up and regenerated. Turkey manure was added to the 2 hectare paddock and it was power harrowed before the hybrid and ryegrass was direct-drilled into the area.
The Subzero was planted at 6 kilograms per hectare and the ryegrass at 25 kilograms per hectare. Dry conditions followed planting with the area getting just one inch of rain over three falls during the crucial establishment phase. Mr Hayes said the pasture established well after the small rainfall events and hung on in the drier conditions without showing signs of slowing or wilting. He said that despite the lack of rainfall, there was enough growth there for the 2 hectare paddock to provide four to five days of grazing during the January period. The crop was planted later than originally anticipated and would have benefitted from an earlier rainfall if it had been sown three weeks prior. Despite the later plant it still held on very well and could then take advantage of the odd summer storm that is common in the area. “We usually get some summer storms come through,” Mr Hayes said. The dairy property is rainfall based with effluent the only liquid that is able to be put onto the paddocks. Ryegrass and red and white clover are the main winter feed options, with lucerne, millet and brassicas also utilised over the summer. The paddock was soil tested prior to planting and was not nutrient deficient, having had a program of lime and other options in the last few years. Friesian and Jersey cows make up the herd of 300 with calving occurring in both summer and autumn to take advantage of the milk pricing structure.
Evan Hayes of Robertson, NSW.