“In the first year the velveting stags went up a kilogram in velvet.”
In the first year using SF Brigadier™ fodder beet Warren Ross’ velvet stags cut an extra 1kg of velvet per head, on average.
Warren and Garry Ross operate a 630 hectare drystock property at Waimumu in Southland, running a mix of deer, beef and dairy grazers.
They currently run 850 hinds, 250 velveting stags, 100 yearling beef heifers, 100 yearling beef steers and bulls, and have 600 rising one-year-old dairy heifers grazing.
They first planted SF Brigadier™ in 2008 and used it initially to feed the velveting stags, but are now moving to use it across all stock classes.
“In the first year the velveting stags went up a kilogram in velvet. In fact, it was probably more than that because the velvet was growing earlier, so we were cutting earlier and able to get more regrowth,” Warren says.
They also found the stags were very calm and quiet on the fodder beet.
Last winter they put the hinds on fodder beet for the first time and found they came through winter looking the best they ever had due to the quality of feed eaten.
They fatten bulls on fodder beet and animals put on 1kg per day through winter. “That’s not a bad result for down here.”
They were also able to get good weight gains in their tail-end bulls and steers on fodder beet.
“It [fodder beet] is easy to grow. But you still have to get your ground work done properly, things like spraying when you’re meant to, doing soil tests and getting the fertility right.
“We have a lot of weeds down here and it’s one way of controlling the weeds,” Warren says.