Product Used: Subzero Hybrid Forage Brassica
Subzero hybrid forage brassica has produced excellent feed across summer on the property of Ken Sharpe, at Manibadar, south of Ballarat in the western districts of Victoria. Mr Sharpe said he had tried a number of forage options across the years to fill the gap including turnips, chicory and other brassicas, and had stuck with Subzero over the past three seasons. The brassica is normally grown in a paddock where pasture had run its race and was being transitioned into a cropping phase.
Last season the Subzero was sown at a rate of 4 kilograms per hectare in late September and the 30 acre paddock grazed by 300 lambs from late November. “There was a heap of feed there and I left them in until they got on top of it,” Mr Sharpe said. “They were hard on it and hammered it right to the ground.” One hundred on the lambs were sold out of the paddock and the remaining stock continued to graze the area until the middle of January. The lamb diet was supplemented by grain to prolong the life of the forage. Mr Sharpe said the stock were taken out and put onto lucerne before being returned to the paddock three to four weeks later for grazing into autumn.
He said Subzero did particularly well last season with good moisture at planting and had also impressed the previous year under very dry conditions. “It must have an amazing tap root,” he said. “It was a really dry year and it greened up again.” The main purpose of the Subzero was as a fodder crop over summer and autumn and to transition pastures into a cropping phase. By using Subzero through the summer months there is the option of keeping lambs for longer and allowing them to grow out a bit more before going to market. “With the way the lamb industry is going we can’t just supply in the spring but need to hold onto some a bit longer,” Mr Sharpe said.
Ken Sharpe, of Manibadar, VIC, used Subzero hybrid forage brassica for feed across summer and to help clean the paddock in preparation for wheat.