Forage brassicas back on the menu

By Dairy News

Dow AgroSciences has launched ForageMax herbicide, which it says will enable farmers to reconsider growing forage brassicas.

“These high quality feeds had been relegated to the ‘too hard’ basket due to infestations of fat-hen and diamondback moth,” according to Dow’s Dan Dixon.

“As with everything, though, there is a cost involved. However, producing return-on-investment data has been a priority for us, and we can now report excellent results.”

Mr Dixon said ForageMax produced an average increase in dry matter of 7.18 tonnes/hectare across three trials and two seasons.

“Considering the return-on-investment, ForageMax (100 ml/ha) cost $40/ha to produce an extra 7.18t/ha dry matter, which equates to 179 kg/$1 spent.

“This gives a much higher return-on-investment than buying in a round bale (300 kg at $60/bale) which only produces 5 kg/$1.

When converted to the metabolisable energy (ME: digestible energy less energy lost in urine, gases) of the feed component, using ForageMax to grow turnips results in around 2000 ME/$1 spent as opposed to only 30 for oat/wheat hay, according to Mr Dixon.

Mr Dixon said a farmer in Princetown, Victoria, said they had had three times the amount of dry matter in the treated crop compared to the untreated crop.

The added bonus was that they had no fat-hen trash to clean up, so it was easier to get back into sowing new pasture.