Product Used: Balance Chicory
A first try at lucerne has proved successful for dairy farmer, Peter Cullen of Berry in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales. Mr Cullen said the property had grown lucerne in the past and he decided to put in a paddock of L56 lucerne combined with Balance chicory which was sown in April of 2014. “It’s been very good so far,” he said. “We had five cuts off it across the summer and grazed it off twice. It has done well.”
The blend of lucerne and chicory was an 80:20 mix sown at 8 kilograms per hectare one way across the paddock at 8 kilograms per hectare in the opposite direction. “I think that works,” Mr Cullen said. “The stand was nice and thick.” He said chicory as part of the blend provided good additional growth across many months of the year. “The chicory has been fantastic. It is still there in the colder conditions.” Across the summer time it was the L56 lucerne that produced rapid growth and the five cuts during its first season of production.
Mr Cullen said they took all of the cuts for silage with their variable weather conditions making it more difficult to keep the forage on the ground for longer to produce hay. He said while they were limited by the weather, the lucerne was generally on the ground for just one and a half days before being wrapped into large round bales of silage. The silage bales are used on-farm as a high quality option to feed the dairy cows. It is particularly useful in the autumn period prior to the ryegrass being established. Dairy cows also grazed the lucerne/chicory stand across the autumn period.
The blend of lucerne and chicory is designed to ensure the high production from L56 lucerne is combined with the mineral rich, highly palatable long-term Balance chicory. With an excellent protein to energy rating, it will deliver high animal production. Mr Cullen said he was looking forward to seeing how the blend performed during the spring and summer and in subsequent years. “It’s looking good so will be interesting to see what the spring holds.”
Peter Cullen of Berry in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales.