High yielding and palatable, fodder beet crops give farmers the ability to winter a large number of stock within a small area and free up pasture on other parts of the farm.
This benefits the whole farm system.
There are a number of varieties of fodder beet available and farmers should be selecting the varieties that best meet the needs of their livestock. For example, some fodder beets are lower in dry matter than others and some have a higher proportion of good quality leaf. Green leaf provides the protein necessary for young and growing stock.
Varieties such as Brigadier™ sit higher out of the ground, making them more accessible to sheep (and young cattle), but most importantly they produce a lot more leaf and will hang onto that leaf into winter when managed correctly.
The correct paddock preparation is important to help fodder beet realise its yield potential and now is the time to be addressing fertility issues in paddocks ear-marked for growing this crop next spring.
In the July issue of Grain of Truth, we will be looking in-depth at beet selection and paddock preparation.