GrowMax Forage Brassica (Brassica napus.L.)
GrowMax is a modern forage brassica cultivar bred to improve quality, regrowth and yield over the traditional varieties. When well-managed, GrowMax provides high quality, cost-effective forage for beef cattle and sheep. GrowMax is the perfect choice for growers looking to improve their profitability by growing forage brassica.
Where can I grow it?
Frequently Asked Questions
Select paddocks that are relatively weed-free and avoid paddocks that are prone to waterlogging. Ideally follow a winter crop paddock, eg cereals or annual ryegrass. Select an appropriate spray to eliminate any weeds. Cultivation is a preferred option even if it is only a light working, or power harrowing, as small seeds dry out quickly.
Fertiliser application at sowing is very important. A minimum of 100kg DAP/ha is recommended to assist rapid establishment. Lime can be a very good investment to incorporate into the soil to optimise brassica growth, but soil test first. Treated seed is also a good option to help control RLEM at emergence as it provides approx 3-4 weeks’ protection.
- Early sowing leads to higher yield potential
- Sow when soil temperatures are 10ºC and rising
- Direct drill seed into clean open soils
- A firm, moist seed bed is desirable
- A sowing depth of 5-15mm is ideal. Accurate seed depth is very important to ensure uniform germination
- Roll after sowing to ensure good seed-soil contact which is essential and tilth will accommodate this
- Sow at 3-5kg/ha alone or 1-2kg/ha as part of a mix
Brassicas should always be fed together with ad-lib fibrous forage such as straw, baled silage or hay to improve rumen ‘scratch factor’ and provide an alternative source of nutrition.
Introduce stock to brassica crops slowly on full stomachs to avoid digestive upsets. Ideally start by allowing stock access to the crop for 1-2 hours/day building up to unrestricted access after 1-2 weeks.
Livestock must have access to hay, straw or a grassy ‘exit’ paddock to graze, This is to promote saliva production and healthy rumen function.
An adequate supply of good quality drinking water is essential at all times.
UMS can custom blend GrowMax with cereal, grass or herb options (such as plantain, ryecorn or chichory) to ensure your particular animal nutrition requirements are met.
The energy level of brassicas is equivalent to high quality conserved forages.
Crude protein (CP) is between 14-20%.
Brassicas have readily digestible carbohydrate but are low in structural fibre which is why it is necessary feed brassicas with a fibre source such as straw or hay to help prevent rumen acidosis or bloat.
Every farm has a growth curve which represents the amount of pasture grown in any one year.
The green line shows typical pasture growth with a spring peak, a decline in summer, followed by a second peak in autumn. It is possible to bridge the feed deficit gap in the cooler months by autumn-sowing GrowMax™ and sowing in early spring to provide premium quality and highly digestible fattening or finishing feed going into late spring/summer.