“If a fresh yield above 100 tonnes per hectare combined with a dry matter content above 20% appeal, then the new fodder beet varieties Brick and Tarine will tick the boxes,” says Limagrain’s forage crop specialist Martin Titley.
UK trial results recently published show that the relative dry matter yield of Brick was 17% above the control variety Magnum, and Tarine was 8% higher. These values, based on three years of data, topped the table of the 14 fodder beet varieties trialled.
Brick was also the highest variety ranked on dry matter content at 23.3%, and Tarine was just behind at 20.8%. And with a dry matter yield of 22.2 tonnes per hectare, Brick can produce 3.72 tonnes per hectare more than the average for the trial whilst Tarine, with a dry matter yield of 20.1 tonnes per hectare outstrips the trial average by 1.6 tonnes per hectare.
Brick is a white, smooth skinned variety that stores well and is rhizomania tolerant. It is a deep-rooted variety and best lifted with a sugar beet harvester. Brick is also ideal for anaerobic digestion.
Tarine is shallower rooted and it has good leaf size; both features that help with harvesting and make it possible to use leaf lifting machinery. It produces clean pink roots and is also rhizomania tolerant.
“Both Brick and Tarine provide high dry matter and high energy feed – typically between 12.5 and 13.5MJ/kg of dry matter – for dairy and beef cattle,” adds Mr Titley.
Sown in April, they are harvested from October onwards and can be fed in a total mixed ration or ad lib with maize silage.
“For the same growing costs, farmers can benefit from the higher yields produced by these new varieties and boost supplies of this high quality cost-effective feed source. It’s a good idea to review your forage cropping based on the latest trial information and look carefully at the new varieties that could pay dividends.”