501 Chicory is best suited as a 6-8 month summer crop, with rapid establishment and excellent re-growth, to give very high DM yield and an extra grazing over some other cultivars. It also has an erect growth habit, which provides high utilisation, and a low crown to reduce Sclerotinia.
501 Chicory establishes very quickly, meaning less down time before the first grazing. In replicated trials and on-farm demonstration trials across a wide range of different soil types 501 Chicory has stood out right from the start, particularly in challenging dry conditions.
Excellent DM yield
501 Chicory has shown very high DM yield in North Island trials conducted on four different soil types, over three separate seasons.
Advantage of 501 + Tuscan
The combination of 501 + Tuscan performs well. Like 501, Tuscan red clover has a deep taproot giving it a significant advantage in summer dry conditions. Tuscan grows well between the chicory plants filling gaps often otherwise taken up by weeds. Tuscan also fixes nitrogen reducing fertiliser requirements for the crop.
Note that in the mix Tuscan does not look as tall or 'flashy' as 501. However, Tuscan has a much higher DM percentage than chicory, so provides more feed than you might think.
501 Chicory has been bred for a low crown position reducing susceptibility to treading damage and Sclerotinia fungus (or root rot) infection. However, it is recommended to avoid grazing chicory in wet conditions to reduce the chance of damage to plant crowns.
Both chicory and red clover are highly palatable to livestock and are both high in ME. During summer dry conditions, 501 Chicory and Tuscan red clover will maintain an ME of around 12, whereas ryegrass pastures generally maintain an ME of 8.5-10.5. The high digestibility allows the rumen to process the crop more quickly making space for stock to eat additional DM. Chicory is able to take up important trace elements from deeper in the soil profile, helping keep stock healthy.
Sow chicory into a firm, fine, weed-free seed bed where soil temperatures are consistently above 12°C in spring. Roll before and after sowing to help get a uniform germination. First grazing should occur when plants reach the seven leaf stage. Targets for grazing are:
- Pre-grazing targets: 3000 kg DM/ha or 25-35 cm height.
- Post-grazing residual target: 5 cm.
How many ha?
For dairy farms, sow 3 ha of 501 Chicory per 100 cows to provide 3 kg DM of chicory/cow/ day. Area to be sown can be calculated from the following table:
When to resow pasture
501 Chicory will look great going into autumn. In spite of this it is more important to get new pasture established early, rather than continue to graze chicory into late autumn.
Sowing 501 Chicory