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Kale - Maris Kestrel

Maris Kestrel is established as the leading kale variety in Ireland and is suitable for all classes of stock. It is renowned for its high digestibility and long utilisation period. Maris Kestrel has been used in Teagasc Moorepark and also in the SAC out-wintering demonstrations. It’s success is due to the fact that livestock can utilise the whole plant.

Categories: ,

Main issues

  • Ideal for out-wintering
  • Good late summer/early autumn feed for cattle or sheep
  • Solution to late season grazing deficits

Key Benefits 

  • Outstanding leaf-to-stem ratio
  • High whole plant D-value
  • Vigorous early growth
  • Resistant to lodging
  • Good winter hardiness
  • Long utilisation period

Showing time: May to June

Seed rate: 2.5 – 3.0 kg/acre (increase to 3.5 kg/acre if broadcasting)

Yield: 10 – 12 t DM/ha

Utilisation period: November to February

Usage Guide – Kale

Sowing rate      2.5 – 3.0 kg/acre (if broadcasting increase to 3.5 kg/acre)

Sowing Time     May – June

Sowing Depth   10 -15mm

Sowing Instructions      Soil test approximately 8 weeks prior to sowing. Cultivate to achieve a fine, firm seed bed. Ploughing will help level rough fields. Apply lime as per soil test results. Sow in good conditions (warm with rain forecast), no deeper than 10 mm. Roll well after sowing to ensure good soil/seed contact. Apply N, P & K as per soil test results and nitrates rules.

 

After sowing     Monitor for pest attack and seek advice where a problem arises

Fertiliser Rate   N, P and K guidelines for Kale (source: Teagasc Green Book)

Soil Index
  1 2 3 4
N (kg/ha)1 120 105 80 60
P (kg/ha)2 60 50 30 0
K (kg/ha)2 220 210 170 0

1A split dressing for kale is advised. Spread half N at sowing and half approx. 3 weeks later.

2Advice assumes a yield of 40 tonnes/ha per cut, fresh weight. If yields are expected to be smaller, reduce the P and K application by 0.5 and 4 kg/ha for each tonne below 40.

Uses     Dairy – Y

Cattle – Y

 

Grazing Management

  • Brassicas are low in iodine, copper, cobalt and selenium – a slow-release bolus will ensure animals receive adequate minerals
  • Supplementary fibre (e.g. silage, hay or straw) should account for 30% of the diet, with 70% coming from the brassica
  • Introduce stock to brassicas gradually (build up from 1-2 hours access per day to full time access over 10-14 days)
  • Always ensure animals have access to fresh water