Our on-going fodder beet trials provide the essential data which livestock farmers need to make the right decision in respect of variety choice
Two of our fodder beet varieties – Robbos and Blizzard – have produced an extra 1.2 tonnes/ha of DM yield over the ‘old’ variety Kyros. This is a very significant increase at a time when livestock farmers need to maximise their output of home grown feed. Indeed, the extra energy gained is worth no less than £160/ha!
The fact that Limagrain has been running trials for several years gives the company a real advantage over other seed suppliers in the UK. Martin Titley, Director of Marketing – Forage Seeds, explains the background to this programme.
“There is no National List or independent trials programme for fodder beet in the UK, so we have been undertaking a variety trial each year to provide the performance data which farmers need to make a rational judgement about variety selection.”
Mr Titley says that more livestock farmers have been taking a closer look at fodder beet over the past two years due to the crop’s ability to generate a substantial yield of roots which are high in sugar (and therefore ideal for balancing maize rations). Fodder beet is also very palatable and it is highly flexible in that it can be strip grazed as an alternative to lifting.
The company has a very useful, 32-page, Profit from Forage Crops Guide which provides all the husbandry guidelines for fodder beet (and several other valuable crops) and this is available free of charge.