Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
The introduction of Subzero forage brassica has led to excellent weight gains on the property of Joe Toohey, at Sherwood Grange, south of Mt Edgecombe, near Ballarat in Victoria. Mr Toohey said he first tried Subzero two years ago to replace some of the area which had traditionally gone to turnips. “Subzero has been great,” he said. “It has done very well.” He said cattle were gaining weight at rates of up to 1.2 kilograms per head per day on the Subzero forage brassica. Subzero is planted on the property any time between September and Christmas and does an excellent job of filling a feed gap at the end of the summer and going into autumn. “We can use Subzero late,” he said. Once you get to December you need to think of the other end of the season.” The crop was sown at the end of December in 2010 and was ready for its first grazing in eight to ten weeks. “They went right through until mid-April,” Mr Toohey said. “We are a breeding, fattening operation and they weigh a heap better on fodder crops” He said the paddock sizes on the property vary, although many are between 20 and 25 hectares and work well for grazing.
The stock are normally placed on an adjacent grass area and an open gate to the Subzero and then allowed access as they want it. “After about a week they are adjusted to the Subzero and they just love it,” he said. Anything up to 100 to 120 head will be used to graze a 20 hectare area and they can be utilising the forage for a month to six or eight weeks. “Our best month for weight gain is February,” Mr Toohey said. “We can finish the cattle and they are gone before winter. They do much better on Subzero than on grass.” He said the cattle go to a range of different markets and one buyer even came back this year and asked for the cattle raised on the Subzero as it was giving terrific sappy finished cattle. During the start the 2010 season the property was inundated with rain and the Subzero made better use of the soggy conditions than the turnips. Mr Toohey said Subzero was something that could get going quickly which was important for early feed and in very wet conditions. The success of the feed early in 2011 meant a lot more was planted late that year with a rate of 3 kilograms per hectare used.
Joe Toohey, Mt Edgecombe VIC