The Tonic plantain variety is particularly useful for summer and autumn feeding.
Tonic plantain seed is sown in a mixture with grass and is grazed in situ by the animal. Plantain requires free draining, fertile soils and is highly responsive to nitrogen.
Key benefits of Tonic plantain
- Higher in mineral content than perennial ryegrass
swards (P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Na, Zn, Cu, B and Co)
- Highly palatable
- Deep rooting giving it access to nutrients deeper in soil
- Tonic Plantain can be added to a grass/clover mixture at a rate of 1 kg Plantain, 12 kg perennial ryegrass and 0.5 kg white clover
- Weed control is best carried out before sowing as post-emergence weed control is limited
- Expected yield of 8 t DM/ha
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Sowing rate: 1 kg/acre with 12 kg grass and clover (2.5 + 35 kg/ha)
Sowing time: April to mid-August, into warm soils (>10°C)
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 10-15 mm. 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
- Ensure short, intensive periods of grazing with adequate recovery periods
- Ideally graze to a residual of 4 cm
- In the second and subsequent years, plant height must not exceed 25 cm to limit seed head development and maintain feed quality
- Ensure adequate N, P and K fertiliser is available to the plant
Uses: Dairy – Y; Cattle – Y; Sheep – Y