...and sometimes it takes a little help with your feed plan.

For some farmers Spring crops are the solution for filling the summer feed deficit is typically the primary goal when considering cropping, but for many it’s now becoming two-fold where environmental functionality of various forages is also at the forefront of requirements. Below are some crops that are commonly planted by farmers New Zealand dairy farmers in Spring.


Click below on your cropping of choice for detailed information and helpful links.


Book your free Spring Feed, Pasture & Cropping Plan today and your local TSR will join you out on farm to talk through your personal on-farm requirements or a video call can be arranged.

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  • Best pratice crop nutrition - Brassicas
  • Best pratice crop nutrition - Brassicas

    On many farms, brassicas are a critical part of the annual feed plan. They provide high-quality feed, at times when pasture quality and quantity can be lacking. Brassicas can be sown in spring or autumn, for summer or winter grazing. They are usually grazed in situ, i.e. the cows are taken to the brassicas (rather than the brassicas being harvested and taken to the cows). Brassicas commonly grown in New Zealand include kale, Pasja, turnips and swedes.

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  • Best practice crop nutrition - Fodder Beet
  • Best practice crop nutrition - Fodder Beet

    In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the cultivation of fodder beet, mainly because it is a high-yielding crop with the potential to produce up to 30 tonne dry matter per hectare. It is also high in energy – the bulb has a metabolisable energy (ME) level of 12 – although it is relatively low in protein. Fodder beet is often planted as an alternative to brassicas as part of cropping rotations or pasture renewal programmes.

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  • Best pratice crop nutrition - Maize
  • Best pratice crop nutrition - Maize

    Maize is widely grown as a silage crop and is mainly used as a supplementary feed for dairy cows. The area planted in maize appears to be increasing yearly, as although the protein content of maize silage is insufficient for ruminants, it does supply adequate digestible fibre and carbohydrate. Maize crops can be planted into land coming out of permanent pasture or they can be planted in rotation, e.g., with a winter ryegrass. They are also useful if planted into effluent blocks, as they help

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Chicory is a short-lived leafy herb with high feed value, chicory can be incorporated into a rotational grazing system through its active growing months.

3 great benefits of using Chicory

Watch the video to hear from Jen Corkran, Pastue System Agronomist at Barenbrug talk about the 3 great benefits of using 501 Chicory as your summer feed of choice.


Turnips are a brassica root crop commonly used as a fast-maturing single-graze crop to bridge a summer feed gap and maintain milk production.


Maize is a vital crop for many New Zealand dairy farmers and represents a significant investment in time and resources. Check out the video below where Ian Williams, a forage specialist with Pioneer Brand Products discusses why maize silage is becoming an increasingly important part of New Zealand pasture based dairy systems.

Maize Silage Benefits

Ian outlines four key reasons why more and more farmers use maize silage as the supplement of choice on their farms.


Kale is normally used as a winter feed crop. It has a deep root system with good drought tolerance. It also has good tolerance to most insect pests and can be used as a second brassica crop, especially after swedes, because of its tolerance to club root and dry rot.

All about Kale

Watch the video to hear from Dylan Moratti, from Agricom discussing why you should use Kale as your winter feed crop.


Plantain is highly palatable to animals, establishes rapidly, is pest tolerant and has a high mineral content.

Ecotain Environmental Plantain

Watch the video to hear Laura, from Agricom discussing why Plantain helps reduce nitrogen leaching.


Fodder beet is a low nitrogen root crop with a high yield potential.

All About Fodder Beet

Watch the video to hear Jim Beer, from Agricom discussing why farmers grow Fodder Beet.


Lucerne is an erect growing, perennial legume. It has a deep taproot that allows it to extract water from deeper soil layers and consequently has greater tolerance to moisture stress than most pasture species.


If you have suffered from the excessively wet winter and have damaged pastures, rather than re-sowing pasture, an alternative option is to use a forage brassica such as rape.

Forage rape can be spring or late summer sown. It builds a bulk amount of quality feed for a fattening option or in dairy situations as an alternative to areas where summer turnips don’t do well due to drier conditions.


Clover is a high-quality feed. There are a number of clover species available with white clover and red clover the most commonly used.