Summer Fodder Crops

Summer Fodder Crops

Summer fodder crops are an extremely valuable, highly digestible feed source, which is often forgotten about by famers. By January/February when feed is limited, farmers will wish they had a crop of Brassica, Rape, Turnips, Millet or Sorghum as they produce large volumes of feed and are relatively inexpensive to establish. By sowing a summer fodder crop a paddock will be in much better condition for sowing. By leveling and working in spring it cuts down the preparation time enormously and in most situations it is simply a matter of direct drilling in your permanent pasture.

Read our Tips for Success!

Hybrid Forage Brassica’s

Hybrid Forage Brassica’s are increasing in popularity due to their more flexible sowing times. Hybrid’s can be sown from Autumn, Late Winter, Spring and Summer if moisture
permits. Hybrids provide bulk, quality forage and have the ability to graze multiple times. Hybrid Brassica’s will provide the quickest feed of all the fodder crops.

Rape

Rapes will produce a large volume of feed from relatively small costs; however they do require more management. Rapes need to mature prior to grazing to get the nutritional benefits from the crops. The newer varieties have better tolerance to pests and diseases as well as superior regrowth after grazing.

Turnips

Turnips also produce large volumes of seed when you consider the light sowing rates. Turnips are a valuable feed source as both the tops and the bulbs can be utilized.

Millet

Millet will provide valuable fast growing forage from January through to May and is suitable to all classes of livestock. At no stage will millet cause stock health issues. Millet can be sown with rape and turnips and will grow on a wide range of soil types. Millet is a very viable cheap option on areas considered marginal or have low fertility.

Sorghums

Sorghums need to be sown when the soil temperature reaches 16 degrees and rising. Once established, sorghums can be grazed or cut for hay/silage. Sorghums will regrow strongly once grazed if moisture permits. Adequate soil preparation is the key to success with sorghum crops.

 Variety Sowing Rate
(KG/HA)
Re- growth Drought Tolerance Approx Weeks
TO 1ST
GRAZING
Attributes

FORAGE RAPE

Hunter

2 – 5 Good Low 6 – 8 Fast growing, improved insect tolerance, later maturing than pasja.

 Winfred

 2 – 5  Excellent Very High 10 – 12 The ultimate all-rounder suited to all soil types, all stock classes. Will provide large volumes of palatable stock.

Pillar

2 – 5 Very Good High 12 – 14 Fast establishing, high yielding, multi-graze giant-type Forage Rape. Very good re-growth.

Leafmore

2 – 5 Good High 8 – 10 Selection from Winfred. Reliable producer more suited to irrigation.

Goliath

3 – 4 Good Medium 12 – 14 Huge producer suited to cattle, very leafy forage.

Rangi

3 – 4 Medium Medium 12 – 14 Older variety, offers excellent value for money in broad acre situations.

TURNIP

Pasja 2

3 – 5 Excellent Medium 6 – 9 Fast establishing, high yielding variety bred to reduce the on-set of early bolting, persistent.

Appin

1 – 2 Good Medium 6 – 9 Suited to all livestock. Reliable producer, don’t overgraze initially.

MPT

0.5 – 2 Poor Medium 14 Excellent value for money in broad acre situation. Leafy tops and large bulbs, marginal country.

MILLET

Shirohie

8 – 25 Excellent Good 6 – 8 Reliable safe source of forage, excellent source of roughage, also suits irrigation.

Rebound

8 – 25 Excellent Good 6 – 8 Rapid regrowth, ideal option for hot summer production.

SORGHUM

APPROX. HEIGHT TO 1ST CUT/GRAZING

SSS

3 – 20 Very Good  Very Good 70 cm Suitable for dryland or intensive irrigated situations. Very fine stem, sweet and leafy variety, produces very high quality hay, can tolerate several grazings/hay cuts.

Sprint

5 – 25 Excellent Very Good 80 cm Excellent early vigour, early flowering variety. Very thin stems, ideal for grazing or hay/silage

BMR Rocket

5 – 30 Excellent Medium 80 cm Early flowering and maturing, low prussic acid potential, utilizes BMR-6 gene for better digestibility and standability.

Feedex

4 – 25 Very Good Medium 80 cm Value for money, fine stemmed variety, good production in late spring and summer.

BMR

Revolution

3 – 20 Excellent Good 80 cm Vigorous early growth, high water use efficiency, very high quality hay/ silage option.

Superdan 2

5 – 25 Excellent Good 1 Metre Late flowering variety, can get up to 3 grazings, massive yielding if managed properly.

BMR Octane

5 – 30 Excellent Good  1 Metre Early vigour in cooler conditions, high sugar levels, excellent crude protein and energy, high biomass production and regrowth.