With Fonterra’s new Fat Evaluation Index (FEI) Grading System about to take effect, those farm systems feeding higher amounts of PKE need to look at other options, including chicory, to reduce the chance of FEI penalties.
We’re already seeing more interest in 501 Chicory this spring as farmers prepare for the new grading system.
FEI demerits will be as high as 20% of the price of milk collected on the day, if grade standards are breached.
501 Chicory has no effect on FEI grading, and well-grown crops cost about half the price of PKE per kg dry matter.
We believe most farmers can grow 501 Chicory for 14 c/kg DM. The keys to achieving this are cropping grass paddocks that will not grow well over summer; and producing high chicory yield (i.e. 12 t DM/ha)
Other benefits? Protein and ME are higher; cows love chicory and you don’t need machinery to feed it out.
It’s also an excellent way to renew run-out paddocks with new grass and clover in autumn, especially where pests and weeds like black beetle and yellow bristle grass are a problem.
An annual-type chicory, 501 is quick to establish, and outgrows other perennial types over summer, by as much as one full grazing.