Results from Southland confirm if you want a fodder beet that stays leafy through autumn and into winter, even when disease is present, Robbos is the best choice.
Conditions were challenging for beet last season, with high humidity and fungal leaf disease.
Our 2017/18 fodder beet trial at Woodlands in Southland was no exception. But herbage test results showed Robbos leaves maintained significantly a higher percentage of crude protein than other cultivars in the trial, a good indicator of leaf health and disease tolerance.
Robbos leaf was also in the top ranking for ME, providing excellent overall quality.
Leaves are important for both cattle grazing the crop, and overall fodder beet performance.
They are the main source of the crop’s protein, so extra leaf means extra protein for livestock. This helps offset the high level of carbohydrate in the bulb, giving a better nutritional balance.
Beet leaves capture sunlight for energy to grow the bulb, so better leaf survival also helps ensure better overall DM yield.
Fungal diseases can cause double digit DM yield losses in beet. Many crops were affected last season by rust, powdery mildew and Cercospora and Ramularia leaf spots, brought on by higher than normal humidity.