Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
For the second year running Subzero forage brassica has been an excellent grazing option over the summer period for Jock Wallace, at Cooma, in NSW. Mr Wallace said he had traditionally planted a forage brassica during spring each year. A switch was made to Subzero in 2011 because the other options had a tendency to wilt away to nothing during the hot weather. “We just thought we would give it a go and we were really happy with it,” Mr Wallace said. The 2011 summer season was very favourable and the Subzero forage brassica performed very well after being planted with a ryegrass mix in early September. Mr Wallace said they were able to graze the 75 acre paddock from mid-December at a stocking rate of 12 sheep per acre through until April.
He said the stock did particularly well on the feed, and the ryegrass provided grazing options though into autumn and winter. In 2011 Subzero was planted in September into a 50 acre paddock and provided grazing options from December 13 through the summer. A mob of 400 lambs was initially introduced to the paddock at a stocking rate of 8 per acre. The paddock selected was not as fertile and the season not as wet as the previous year, however the Subzero continued to grow strongly and provide valuable feed. At the initial grazing the forage had reached a height of one foot. Mr Wallace said the main reason a summer crop was needed on the property was to get the sheep out of native pastures that contained burr.
He said if the weaner lambs were allowed out in that area they ended up with corkscrew through their wool and it made it very difficult to control. Subzero is providing an option to graze at the time the corkscrew seed pods are developing and becoming an issue. A planting rate of between three and four kilograms has been used for both years and the crop emerged and established extremely well. In 2011 and ryegrass was sown with the seed at a rate between 6 and 8 kilograms per hectare and the combination worked very well. Single super at 120 kilograms per hectare was also applied to the paddocks. Mr Wallace said the combination of ryegrasses and Subzero worked in well together with each component being dominant and different stages of the season.
Jock Wallace of Cooma, NSW