Product Used: Bouncer Hybrid Forage Brassica
Two different types of hybrid brassicas have proven to be the perfect feed options for Graham Hibbard, of Narrandera, in southern New South Wales.Mr Hibbard planted Bouncer and Subzero hybrid forage brassicas in the first week of March this year and it has provided a bulk of feed from mid-May onwards.
.“The nutritional value is amazing,” he said. “The sheep just seem to bloom on it. The stock are rotationally grazing the paddock of Subzero, a paddock of Bouncer and an adjacent paddock of Tetrone ryegrass, with the combination of all three fitting well.“With the Tetrone ryegrass combined with Bouncer and Subzero it is meeting the nutritional needs of the stock,” Mr Hibbard said.
He said the hybrid brassicas were planted in March at rates of between 2.5 and 5 kilograms per hectare but did not receive any follow-up rain for the next eight weeks.“I would say the germination at the time was around ninety per cent.”The crops survived through the very dry conditions and were grazed from the beginning of May out of necessity. Ewes were starting to lamb and the 60 hectares of Bouncer and 40 hectares of Subzero had to be utilised.
When the rain finally arrived in the middle of May the brassicas took off and provided a bulk of feed from that time onwards.“I just couldn’t believe how they came away,” Mr Hibbard said. “Bouncer, in particular, really took off.”He said the ewes and lambs really did well on the Bouncer feed although they seemed to prefer Subzero as a feed. The two paddocks of brassicas and one paddock of ryegrass were rotationally grazed with a mob of 400 ewes and approximately 150 per cent lambs with the stock spending a week in each area.
“I’ve found with Bouncer the more you feed it, the more it produces. It’s best to keep it eaten down hard and thrash it,” Mr Hibbard said. He said all three crops had done particularly well considering the very dry start to the season, which was just as dry early as many of the seasons during the decade-long drought.“For what they went through, the growth has been really good.”
Bouncer was grown on the property the previous season and provided excellent feed for ewes and lambs right through until the end of September. After that time the area continued to be grazed by dry stock. Another forage brassica type had been grown on the property in previous seasons but had not provided the length of growth of Bouncer.
Graham Hibbard, of Narrandera, NSW, in a crop of Bouncer hybrid forage brassica.