Caledonian is a tall, high yielding kale with softer stems that provides excellent winter feed for cattle. Its higher stem quality increases animal performance (or crop utilisation) over older tall cultivars. It has good winter hardiness and, like all kales, has good club root tolerance.
In trials Caledonian has shown excellent yield for a high ME kale.
The results below are from a trial run by Lincoln University. Cows grazing Caledonian had the same crop utilisation (88-91%) and achieved the same body condition score (BCS) gain as the intermediate height kale Regal. However, the 1.5 - 1.6 t DM/ha higher yield of Caledonian allowed more cow grazing days i.e. a 12% higher stocking rate.
Sowing rate 5kg/ha
We recommend sowing Caledonian at 5 kg/ha (in good conditions where a yield of greater than 10 t DM/ha is expected). Trials show an increased yield of 1.3 t DM/ha (or 9%) over a 4 kg/ha sowing rate*.
Caledonian is a marrow stem cultivar with significantly better ME in the basal stems than traditional tall cultivars Gruner or Rawera. The main difference in feed quality is in the bottom third of stems - this is important as they make up 30% of total yield, and under cattle grazing a significant amount of leaf is knocked to the ground and wasted.
Crops with poor stem quality create a dilemma. Grazing well, to get higher crop
utilisation, will reduce weight gain, while achieving good liveweight gain means accepting poorer utilisation.