Brent and Anna Fisher
“they’re able to achieve excellent growth rates of 2,300-2,500kg of LWG per hectare with the beef cattle on beet.”
Fodder beet has transformed Brent and Anna Fisher’s business, enabling them to fatten large numbers of beef cattle on a small amount of land.
The Fishers operate their 900 hectare sheep and beef property at Greenpark, in Canterbury. They run 300 Charolais and Hereford stud cows, 1,000 breeding ewes, fatten about 1,100 cattle annually as well as some trade lambs, and sow 50-60 hectares of different crops each year.
They grow SF Brigadier™ for grazing and SF SUGA™ sugar beet for harvesting, some of which is sold and some they use for their own supplementary feed.
“The stock seem to really, really like it and it seems to maintain its palatability very well,” Brent says.
“We predominantly use beet to be able to take large numbers of animals through the winter on a relatively confined area. We use that to free up grass so we can come off the beet and utilise the spring growth.”
“Beet works into our fattening system exceptionally well.”
Brent says they’re able to achieve excellent growth rates of 2,300-2,500kg of live weight gain per hectare with the beef cattle on beet. Not only that, but they can achieve those numbers with a stocking rate of 20-25 per hectare, with minimal supplement.
“The cattle are on the beet from the beginning of May through until the middle of September, so for four and a half months the best part of 1,000 cattle or more are on about 45 hectares.”
“What it then leads into is the fact we can really take advantage of the spring grass growth because we have cattle that are forward and ready to go. We are killing the first progeny at 14-15 months in excess of 300kgs carcase weight.”
Brent says the beet seems to be a versatile plant. “We’ve planted beet on what I would call challenging country and we have had pretty good crops. We’ve had exceptional crops on the better ground.”
The Fishers get great service from Seed Force™ and value their contribution to the industry.
“I’m a big fan of Seed Force™, we get really great service. One of the things I really like is, to me, they are a company with a lot of integrity.”
“With the fodder beet they have put a lot of time and effort into getting it right so the rest of the industry can get it right, and they deserve a fair bit of kudos for that,” Brent says.
“It’s been a complete quantum change (in our business). If you told me five years ago that we would be doing what we’re doing, I would have said you were mad.”