Puna II perennial chicory is a broad-leaved perennial herb that can be grown as a pure stand or as a key part of mixed swards with grass and clover, for medium-term rotational grazing (three-to-five-year persistency).
Perennial chicory should not be confused with short-lived common chicory which is sometimes grown.
Key benefits of perennial chicory
- Lasts 3-5 years
- Outstanding animal performance (e.g. lamb growth rates of 300-400 g/day)
- Yields up to 15 t DM/ha in a season; crude protein up to 25%; D-value 70-80
- High mineral content, including zinc, potassium and copper
- Good tolerance to drought, acid soils and major pests
- Rapid regrowth after grazing
- Reduces the effect of internal parasites
- Provides high-quality feed through the summer
- Does not cause bloat
- Chicory can be sown in multi-species swards
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Sowing rate: 1 kg/acre with 14 kg grass and clover (2.5 + 35 kg/ha)
2.5-3 kg/acre (6.0-7.5 kg/ha) if sowing a pure stand
Sowing time: April to mid-August (if sown with grass), April to May (as pure stand)
Sowing depth: 10 mm
Sow in well-drained soils. Control broad-leaved weeds before sowing. Cultivate to achieve a fine, firm seedbed. Ploughing will help level rough fields. Sow in good conditions (warm with rain forecast), no deeper than 10-15mm. Roll well after sowing to ensure good soil/ seed contact. N, P and K fertiliser requirements are similar to that of grass. Ensure optimum soil pH, P and K indices.
- Graze when the crop reaches a height of 10-15 cm and when plants are resistant to uprooting. Generally ready for grazing eight weeks after sowing
- Rotationally graze for best results
- Avoid flower heads developing (except once in the autumn as this can aid persistency)
- Avoid damage to the crown as this will reduce yield and persistency (more likely with hard grazing in wet conditions)
- If chicory produces seed, grazing with cattle is preferable over topping. Topping can allow water to penetrate the hollow stem and this can kill the plant
- Ensure adequate N, P and K fertiliser is available to the plant
Uses: Dairy – Y; Cattle – Y; Sheep – Y