Product Used: Jivet Tetraploid Annual Italian Ryegrass
The use of Jivet tetraploid Italian ryegrass as the main source of feed for dairy heifers on agistment led to excellent weight gains on the property of Robert Casey, at Longford, south of Launceston, in Tasmania.
Mr Casey said dairy agistment was becoming more popular in the region and Jivet was recommended for its quick growth and excellent yields.
He said the dairy heifers on the property were producing live weight gains of up to 2.2 kilograms per day on the ryegrass in a very good result.
Jivet was planted to a 16 hectare area in the autumn following the harvest of a poppy crop and was very quick to establish.
“Just six weeks later we were doing the first grazing,” Mr Casey said. “It was so quick out of the ground.”
A mob of 150 dairy heifers grazed the area in a rotation of between 21 and 36 days and did particularly well on the feed as demonstrated by the weight gain.
“The cows seemed to love it and it stayed leafy throughout the season.”
Mr Casey said a hot wire was used in front of the herd and the area fertilised well in between grazing to get the most out of the ryegrass.
He said they also planted another paddock of Jivet on the property last year and were able to get multiple grazings and silage cuts from that area.
That particular paddock was planted in April and was still productive right through until the start of summer.
Jivet demonstrated an excellent ability to establish well and grow quickly after grazing or silage cuts. It also produced high volumes of quality feed which was utilised well by the dairy heifers.
Mr Casey said agistment of heifers and cows was a good option for both the dairy farmer and his enterprise.
It allowed the dairy farmer to concentrate on the milking herd and know that the heifers are gaining weight on quality feed through the winter period.
Heifers are often kept on the property through until the point of calving before being returned to the dairy enterprise.
Last season the earlier Jivet paddock was rotated into a potato crop, with ryegrass an excellent option in between summer crops.
Photo – Robert Casey, of Longford, Tasmania, used Jivet ryegrass to put weight onto agisted dairy heifers.