Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
A forage brassica that was planted later than anticipated due to wet weather has performed very well on the property of Graeme Dehnert and Lynette Dehnert, at Ballan, in the western districts of Victoria. Mr Dehnert said he originally wanted to sow the Subzero hybrid forage brassica in November to wean lambs onto, but the very wet summer meant it was not put in until February. When the Goldstrike Subzero was eventually planted early in 2011 it impressed him with its early vigour. “It was unreal how it grew,” Mr Dehnert said. “It germinated quickly and once it came up it just took off. I had a stock agent here when it was just two and a half weeks old and he though it had been in for five weeks.” The Denhert’s run Fernhill Southdown Stud and have 800 Southdown breeders as well as 300 head of cattle. Goldstrike Subzero was planted at a rate of 5 kilograms per hectare into two 17 acre side-by-side paddocks and the first ram lambs were introduced to the area just seven weeks after sowing. Mr Dehnert said ram lambs grazed one paddock and ewe lambs grazed the other and provided excellent feed from March through until late September. Each paddock was set stocked with a flock of 60 animals, and the sheep weighed every two weeks to determine weight gains.
Average weight gains from March through to June were 265 grams per day, or 1.85 kilograms per week during the cooler winter conditions. “The Subzero kept in front of them all the time,” Mr Denhnert said. “Feed wise – you just couldn’t knock it.” He said he was looking forward to sowing it earlier in November to see the feed throughout the summer and then into autumn and winter. Last year the Subzero was flogged out by the sheep in the spring before the paddocks were sprayed out, worked and then made ready for another crop of the forage. The crops received 90 kilograms per hectare of MAP at sowing last season, and will likely get a similar amount this year. Mr Dehnert said he would also look at adding some urea as a top-dress option to further encourage forage growth. Some of the rams bought up on Subzero forage were exhibited at various events and won Champion Royal Melbourne Show Southdown Class 1 ½ year old ram, Champion Bendigo Show Southdown Class 1 ½ year old ram and Champion all breeds Hamilton Sheep Vention 1 ½ year old ram.
Lynette & Graeme Dehnert, Ballan VIC