They are a very cost-effective way of supplementing livestock rations particularly during times when fodder may be scarce.
- Forage crops can significantly extend the grazing season when grass starts to tail off.
- They can be fed to increase milk yields and live weight gains.
- They are suitable for a wide range of production systems.
- They are beneficial as a break-crop in a rotation.
They can reduce labour.
Points to Consider when introducing Fodder Crops into your farming system
- Stock should be introduced gradually over a two week period and an area of grassland should be available for animals to return to.
- As brassicas have a very low fibre content, it is critical that stock have access to water, hay or straw at all times.
- Brassicas are inherently low in trace elements.
- Any trace element deficiencies in stock must be rectified before and while feeding brassicas.
- If using fodder crops for dairy cows then it is important to consider the distance between the field and the milking parlour.