Product Used: Ranger Plantain
Ranger plantain planted three years ago has kept producing high yields on the property of Toad Heffernan, at Candelo, on the south coast of New South Wales. Mr Heffernan originally planted the crop at a rate of 2 kilograms per hectare and has been amazed at the production the species has provided over the years. He said the crop was on irrigation away from the dairy but within walking access and the cows were able to graze it regularly over the time. “We are getting feed off it over time,” he said. “I’m very impressed with it.” The Ranger has been allowed to seed a number of times and the result was a very thick stand that competed well with the other species in the paddock. At one stage it was so thick anapplication of herbicide was used to reduce numbers to approximately half so a ryegrass option could be drilled into it.
Mr Heffernan said he also took it as a silage option in the spring due to the tremendous growth. “We fed it in the winter and it came out like big banana leaves. It produced some beautiful silage.” He said the cows milked well on the Ranger although the paddock was some distance from the dairy and the cows had to walk to the feed. “I would like to put some in closer to the dairy to prove that it is helping with the milk production.” He said the cows took to the feed readily and found it very palatable at all stages of its growth. The distance to the feed meant sometimes the closer areas were preferred so on more than one occasion the Ranger had to be slashed to stop it setting seed and bulking up even further. Mr Heffernan said he was also keen to trial Ranger under a dryland situation and believes it could work well. In some areas where cattle have transported the seed to an adjacent dryland block, the plantain has seeded well and produced grazing options. “It likes the moisture and warmth and doesn’t take long to grow,” Mr Heffernan said. He said Zulumaxarrowleaf clover had also performed very well on the property over a number of seasons.
Toad and Greg Heffernan, Candelo south coast New South Wales