Growing great results with 501 Chicory

Growing great results with 501 Chicory

25 August 2019

Getting the best from your chicory crops this season has just got easier because Farm Source have teamed up with key suppliers to share their tips for growing a great crop.

The ‘501 Chicory Guide’ was produced in collaboration with leading experts in the seed, nutrient and weed/pest control categories and is available free from your local Farm Source team.

The guide outlines how to maximise the benefits of having spring-sown chicory in your on-farm feed system this season and features contributions from experts at Barenbrug Agriseeds, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Nufarm.

As with any forage crop, the best results come from an integrated best-practice approach covering every agronomic input – all of which are included in this one handy resource guide.

Richard Doney, upper North Island area manager for Barenbrug Agriseeds, says 501 Chicory is the ideal six-month summer crop, because it is an annual-type cultivar and will out-yield some perennial types over the summer months.

"It’s very fast establishing and can give up to one full grazing more over the season than some other cultivars," he says.

"This high yield, combined with its excellent metabolisable energy (ME) and crude protein (CP) levels – both of which exceed summer pasture and palm kernel expeller (PKE) – make 501 Chicory a very cost-effective summer feed."

When it comes to fertiliser, Ballance Agri-Nutrients science extension officer, Ollie Knowles, says soil test results from a depth of 150 millimetres (mm) are the best guide for determining appropriate chicory recommendations for a pure sward, because of the crop’s deep tap root.

Ollie says these same results can help refine paddock selection for a better outcome. "A poor paddock, for example, might be better off left until next spring, so you can address the nutrient and soil condition issues and maximise production yields when you do crop it.

"In the meantime, you can work through the soil test results to find a paddock that will give a good result this year."

Once the crop is sown, dry matter (DM) yield at maturity will be heavily influenced by plant population, and that’s where weed and pest control becomes a priority, according to Nufarm technical specialist, Paul Addison.

His top tip? Don’t give weeds time to take hold. "We recommend spraying post-emergence herbicides when the chicory seedling is just beginning to form its fourth leaf at the base of the plant.

"Often farmers wait until this leaf is fully formed before spraying, but by that stage the weeds are too big. You’re better to check the chicory and spray early than let the weeds grow beyond the point of good control," he says.

Good seedbed preparation and rolling after sowing are also important, he says, because they help ensure consistent germination and make it easier to correctly time herbicide applications.

To find out more about growing great results with 501 Chicory this spring, talk to your Farm Source TSR today.

Article supplied by Agriseeds