Forage sorghum x sudan grass for summer feed
Date: 15 December 2014
If you are still considering summer crop options, or have experienced a brassica crop failure, a paddock of Pioneer® brand Bettagraze forage sorghum x sudan grass is an excellent option for warmer regions of the country.
Bettagraze is drought tolerant crop which produces high yields of quality feed in a relatively short time-frame. As a summer crop, Bettagraze provides a large seed that allows establishment even under dry soil conditions, it's quick between planting and first grazing (35-45 days) and the gives the option to conserve surplus feed as either silage or hay.
Key benefits of Bettagraze include:
• Large seed which can be drilled into the soil moisture zone, giving reliable establishment even under dry planting conditions.
• Rapid early growth.
• Quick recovery after grazing or cutting, along with delayed flowering makes Bettagraze an easy to manage summer feed.
• High sugar content, fine stems and a high leaf-to-stem ratio for excellent palatability and good feed value.
• Versatile - can be grazed, direct cut or harvested for silage or hay.
Achieving high Bettagraze yields
To maximise the yield and quality of your Bettagraze crop:
• Plant Bettagraze in warm growing environments only.
• Good weed control is important. Spray out the paddock prior to planting.
• For good crop establishment, soil temperature at 5 cm depth and needs to be at least 17ºC and rising.
• Drill and roll seed into a fine, moist seedbed at 3-5 cm depth. Broadcast sowing is not recommended.
• Plant Bettagraze at 25-45 kg/ha. Crops planted at higher rates will have thinner stems and a higher yield potential.
• Graze Bettagraze behind a wire or cut at 35-45 days after planting when the crop is at least 1 m in height. For maximum regrowth leave a residual of 15 cm.
• Re-cut or graze after 4-5 weeks when the crop is at least 0.8 m and no more than 1.2 m in height.
• Monitor nitrate and prussic acid levels especially in crops which have been drought stressed or frosted.
• Always spray out crops prior to autumn frosts or regrassing.
For more information on Bettagraze, talk to your local Pioneer Representative.