Hybrid brassicas offer low cost quality feed solution

Sowing hybrid brassicas in July or August will produce quality forage crops of 5-7 tonnes per hectare in 10-12 weeks at a cost of just 4-5p/kgDM, according to Germinal GB speaking at the Livestock Event Forage Field.

Whether used as a break crop between grassland leys, a short term solution to forage shortfalls or an out-wintering fodder, varieties including Swift and Redstart hybrid brassica offer a low-cost quality forage option.

“These crops are quick to establish and will produce good quantities of forage of over 70 D-value and 15-18% crude protein,” said Germinal GB’s Ben Wixey, speaking during tours at the Livestock Event Forage Field.

“Old pastures destined for re-seeding next spring or fields that have been badly poached over recent weeks could be ideal sites for growing a catch crop of hybrid brassicas.

“There is still ample time to spray off an old sward and establish a crop of Redstart or Swift hybrid brassica capable of producing valuable high quality fodder before the end of the autumn. Similar results can be achieved by direct drilling hybrid brassicas into cereal stubbles.

“Stock strip-grazed on brassicas should be supplemented with baled silage or straw that offers a good source of roughage, as well as a run-back area and easy access to water.”

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