As well as reducing N leaching, Captain cool season plantain (CSP) has significantly more growth in this period, the time when feed is most valuable in farm systems.
Outstanding cool season production
Captain CSP yields significantly more through the cool season period as shown in the graph below. Plantains vary hugely in winter growth, as is clearly visible in the photo at the bottom of this page.
Cool season DM yield data combined from three one year dryland Canterbury trials sown between 2013 – 2018*
*Cool season yield is a total of autumn, winter & early spring periods. LSD (5%) lettering given on yield bars, cultivars with the same letter are not significantly different. 1 Provisional rating, culitvar has only been in one trial.
Reduced N Leaching
Initial investigations indicate that plantain can mitigate N leaching via a number of mechanisms, including: enhancing animal water intake, direct activities on soil N mineralisation, and direct uptake of N through growth. The greater cool season activity of Captain CSP will enhance all of these mechanisms when it is most needed, as N leaching mainly happens when soils are wet through the late autumn, winter and early spring.
Captain CSP (centre) showing its significant cool season yield advantage over other cultivars on 30 July at Courtenay 190m ASL.
High total DM yield
Captain CSP produces strongly across the other seasons too. It's deep rooting, with high summer yield providing additional protein and feed quality over the warmer months, particularly in summer dry areas.
Plantain is easily digestible, improving animal appetite especially over dry summer months when grasses are of lower quality. It is also higher in essential minerals like P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Na, Zn, Cu, B and Co than ryegrass/clover pastures.
Captain CSP is a distinctive narrow-leaved plant with upright growth habit for high utilisation. It has a deep, coarse root system, and good compatibility with other species. It has good persistence, and can last three years under good management.
Sheep, beef, deer systems
Captain CSP can be used as a high LWG finishing crop, for example mixed with red, white, and annual clovers. Here the annual clovers (Persian, arrowleaf) provide most of the legume through the first year, with red and white clovers providing it after that.
Captain CSP is owned and marketed by Barenbrug
Captain CSP is protected under the NZ Plant Variety Rights Act 1987