Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
Subzero forage brassica has been used across a number of seasons to put weight on lambs across summer on the property of Ken Sharpe, at Mannibadar in the Western Districts of Victoria. Mr Sharpe said he would target a non-productive pasture paddock and plant Subzero at a rate of 3 kilograms per hectare in mid to late September. By December the area is grazed by lambs which are fattened up and sold over the hook or to the market. Lambs on the property are normally dropped in June and sold in late November, with any that are less than 18 kilograms in weight kept and fed predominantly on Subzero.
Last year a paddock of 45 acres finished 600 lambs, with individual stock removed as they reached a suitable weight for market. Mr Sharpe said the stock had access to adjoining paddocks or grain as part of the process, but the Subzero was relied upon as the major source of feed. “Last year the lambs still really didn’t get on top of it,” he said. “We had four to five months of feed.” The previous season the Subzero paddock was spelled during the summer and provided additional feed leading into autumn. “If I can get a couple of thunderstorm events across summer it just kicks along,” Mr Sharpe said. “The lambs can eat it to the ground and then you take them off and it just shoots again.”
He said they had trialled Subzero alongside other summer crop options and found the lambs coming off the brassica were much heavier at the end of the season. “In the fodder crops, the lambs just put the weight on.” Generally Subzero provides excellent feed options from December through to April. The pastures are then sprayed out and rotated through to a cereal crop in the autumn at the start of a cropping phase for the paddock. It is a good option to quickly turn an unproductive pasture paddock into a feed source across the summer and through to a grain crop in the following season. Mr Sharpe said the growth of Subzero has been amazing and it has the ability to make the most of any rainfall events across the summer and produce enough feed to fatten large mobs of lambs. The property runs a self replacing Merino and Border Leicester flock.
Property of Ken Sharpe, at Mannibadar, VIC