Simple, practical tips for getting the best out of your 501 Chicory.
- Pick the right paddock. Those closest to the dairy shed which need renewing are ideal – this reduces cow walking time and energy expenditure in summer. Effluent paddocks are also ideal. Free-draining soils with a pH of 5.6-6.2 are best.
- Timing is everything - sow early while there’s still moisture in the soil, so the crop gets away and yields well.
- Spray out with a non-residual herbicide, and consolidate the seedbed. It must be firm before sowing to ensure fast, uniform germination. Roller drills are ideal for sowing chicory seed evenly.
- Sow once soil temps are consistently >12oC and rising, using AGRICOTE treated seed at 10 kg/ha, placed no deeper than 1 cm. Always use slug bait. Roll, roll and roll to ensure good contact of seed to soil.
- Apply post-emergence herbicide when seedlings are just beginning to form their fourth leaf at the base of the plant.
- Don’t graze until the crop has reached 7-leaf stage, usually approx. 8 weeks after sowing. By this point the plants will have well-developed taproots to help growth and survival through summer and autumn.
- Don’t spray out too late in autumn 2020. New pastures take priority, and need to go in on time.
- Don’t keep chicory for a second summer.