Dish up a better diet - Pick the higher-protein beet this spring

Mention fodder beet, and the first thing you probably think of is high dry matter and high energy.


It’s true – no other winter grazing crop has the same yield potential per ha, or the same carbohydrate levels. But animals need protein too, to keep their rumens functioning as they should. 


We humans can’t stay healthy eating mostly sugar, and neither can your cows, sheep or deer. That’s why transitioning animals onto fodder beet properly is so important.


Balancing act


It’s also why beet needs to be balanced with high protein forage during the wintering period, as well as essential minerals like phosphorus.


In general, fodder beet is categorised as a low protein crop.


Our cultivar Robbos, however, has tested with higher leaf protein levels than other cultivars.


Leafy goodness


In laboratory analysis Robbos leaf samples tested at 24.5% protein, significantly higher than the average of 21% protein for Feldherr, Brigadier, Monro and SF1505Bv.


The main reason for this difference is Robbos’ higher leaf quality, which is very noticeable.


The highest level of protein in any fodder beet crop comes from the leaves, so having plenty of green leaf above the ground helps balance all the carbohydrate in the bulbs.


Cascading benefits


That’s good for your animals and their rumens, and it’s good for your business too.


Healthy animals winter better, and are more likely to reach spring in the right condition, which then creates a cascading set of benefits for the coming season.


Robbos’ high protein level can also be valued in another way.


Feed flexibility


We calculate it offers cost savings and flexibility. That’s because you can feed a less expensive supplement when grazing Robbos, like good quality hay, with 15% protein.


If your animals winter on different fodder beet cultivars, they will need higher protein supplement to balance their intake of carbohydrate, like good grass silage, with 17% protein.


As always, test yield and feed quality of your crops so you know what your animals will need for a complete diet.


What next?


Robbos seed is available now for spring sowing. Call your rural retailer to order yours today.