Cropmark Seeds provide options for your spring cropping needs

By Rodney Woods

For customers looking for spring cropping options, Cropmark Seeds has some valuable options in the form of Chico chicory and Pillar forage rape.

The products are well tested under our conditions and have stood the test of time on farms in various parts of Australia during several years.

Cropmark has a large forage plant breeding program and places huge emphasis on intensive trialing under real farm conditions before commercialisation to validate the performance of the varieties we market.

The decision as to just what forage crop you sow depends on your conditions and your needs.

Chico chicory

For a longer-term forage crop, which can be used as a high-quality multi-graze summer and autumn forage or used as a medium-term 18 to 24-month forage crop, then Chico chicory is the answer.

Chico is a high-quality forage, which is high in metabolisable energy and minerals and has un-surpassed animal performance potential – be it livestock growth and fattening, or for milk production.

It has a long tap root, reaching as much as a metre into the ground.

This enhances its drought tolerance and insect pest tolerance above and below the ground.

Importantly, Chico is tolerant of diamondback moth and white butterfly – pests that can devastate other crops.

Chico should be sown at six to eight kilograms per hectare, along with one to two kilograms each of red and white clovers, such as Reaper red clover and Mantra white clover as is suitable for sheep and cattle.

For those looking at shorter-term forages, Pillar forage rape should be considered.

Pillar forage rape

Pillar forage rape is a multi-graze forage that can either be planted in spring as a summer forage crop or planted in the autumn as a winter feed.

While high yielding and high quality, Pillar can handle tough conditions once established; making it a versatile crop for finishing lambs when other pastures are losing quality and dry matter yield.

It is combination of high per hectare yields and high-forage quality supports high animal performance and live weight gain potential.

This means more lambs per hectare turned off quicker than other types of forage rape.

Pillar should be sown at a rate of three to four kilogram per hectare at 10 mm depth.

Pillar is well suited to sheep and cattle farming operations.

Rotational grazing is recommended with up to four to five grazings possible where climatic conditions allow.

For more information, visit: or call 1800 889 039.