Product Used: Balance Chicory
Balance chicory has been used successfully as a grazing and forage option on the dairy property of Max Wake, at Singleton in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Mr Wake said a paddock of Balance chicory had been growing on the farm for a number of years and had performed particularly well across the seasons.
“It is in its third year and it is just as strong as ever.” He said it was used mainly for silage production but also provided good grazing options through the winter months. “It is just great,” he said. “We are going to put it into most of our pasture paddocks.” The initial paddock of Balance chicory was sown with ryegrass, but has proven to be a prolific seeder across the years which has helped bulk up the pasture. “It is getting thicker and thicker,” Mr Wake said. As well as silage the chicory has also been used for green chop by being cut, left to wilt for a couple of days and then baled and fed out immediately to the cows.
Mr Wake said management was an important part of getting the most out of the chicory paddock and they would often slash the area after grazing to remove any stalks. Cutters were also used on the hay baler to reduce the size of the individual pieces which made it very palatable for the dairy cows. Paddocks on the property are divided into smaller areas of three to four acres, with the dairy herd of 230 cows put across the area in one mob. They are generally there for a day before being moved across to the next section. “The cows milk well on chicory,” Mr Wake said. “It is high in protein.” He said the chicory is particularly good in the spring and autumn periods and would also continue to perform in the hotter conditions of summer. “It has a long tap root so doesn’t tend to buckle as much as some of the other options,” he said. In the coming season Balance chicory will be sown with red clover, lucerne, white clover and a little bit of ryegrass for a pasture well suited to the needs of the dairy herd. An older chicory variety had been utilised on the property in the past but had been superseded by Balance chicory as a superior option. “Balance has been very good,” Mr Wake said. “We just love the chicory.”
Max Wake, at Singleton in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.