Forage Choices Autumn 2018

Wednesday 18.07.2018 , News

A 2ha crop yielding 6tDM/ha should keep 50 weanlings for 53 days.

Hybrid brassica

Hybrid brassicas have the potential to yield 6tDM/ha when sown in early August and can be grazed in-situ. Suitable for feeding dry cows, replacement heifers, weanlings and store cattle, advice pertinent to feeding brassicas applies of course. They are an appropriate choice for maximising yield when a full reseed is planned next year or as a catch crop after cereals.

Hybrid Brassica

Varieties of choice: Redstart and Swift

Hybrid ryegrass

Hybrid ryegrass does not have the same short-term yield potential as Hybrid brassica, but does have other potential benefits. There will be extra grazing available in the spring, and in the context of building fodder stocks on farms in the next couple of years, this crop could play an important role. Hybrid ryegrass has the potential to yield 16tDM/ha, but it is important to use varieties with good quality. There are debatable economies when sown as a catch crop, but where fodder is scarce this should be considered.

Varieties of choice: AberEve and AberEcho

Italian ryegrass

Italian ryegrass is similar in profile to hybrid ryegrass; it has a similar short-term yield but less persistency than the hybrids with potentially lower quality.


Variety of choice: – Dorike (t) / Kigezi (t) / Shakira / Alamo

Forage Rape

Sown in early/mid-August, this crop has the potential to yield 5tDM/ha, and can be grazed in–situ. Management appropriate for growing and feeding a brassica crop should be applied. This is not a difficult crop to grow and is a suitable option as a catch crop or in a field targeted for reseeding.

forage rape

Variety of choice: Stego / Avon

Westerwolds Ryegrass

This is an annual form of Italian ryegrass. It only grows for one year, so is not as suitable where the intention is to build forage stocks for the long term. In the short term it will deliver yields similar to hybrid ryegrass.

westerwolds ryegrass

Variety of choice: Libonus/Peleton

Stubble turnips

Stubble turnips sown in early August have the potential to yield 5tDM/ha. They are not as winter hardy as hybrid brassicas such as Redstart and Swift and are only suitable for grazing in situ. Management appropriate to a brassica crop should apply.

stubble turnips

Variety of choice: Vollenda

Leafy Turnips

Leafy turnips can be sown from July to the end of August. This quick-growing forage crop is capable of producing 4-5 tonnes of DM/ha in 6-8 weeks. This could be valuable forage to help manage grass stocks recover from the drought.

leafy turnips

Variety of choice: Appin