Kale is generally a spring sown, single graze option providing late autumn/winter feed from May to August. It can also be spring sown for a late-summer protein source to bolster feed supply when pasture quality is low.
Selecting a kale cultivar is a balance between dry matter (DM) yield and forage quality determined by leaf percentage and stem softness. Giant (tall) kale types provide bulk feed but lower forage quality and crop utilisation, while short types provide a lower DM yield and higher forage quality. Intermediate types offer a balance between DM yield and feed quality.
A new generation, high yielding giant kale. Corsa will deliver a high volume, high quality feed for your animals.
A high yielding, giant type kale with excellent winter hardiness and good Aphid tolerance. Gruner kale is an ideal option when dry matter yield is your priority.
A short height kale with high leaf percentage and soft, digestible stems that deliver an energy-dense, easy-to-graze feed. The ideal feed option when animal performance is your focus.
A high yielding, intermediate height kale with soft stems providing excellent crop utilisation. Choose Regal® when your winter priority is for both yield and forage quality.
Stock can and will gain weight on kale, but need plenty of leaf and good forage quality. The days of choosing a kale cultivar based simply on dry matter (DM) yield are well behind us. Results from a Canterbury kale study (Westwood et al 2014)* can help identify the best kale for your property.
The study ran from May to September 2013 and compared the forage yields, leaf percentages and feed quality values associated with four kale cultivars: Regal®, Gruner, Kestrel and Rawera. Kale cultivars were sampled on a monthly basis for nutrition value of plant components (stem and leaf).
Dry matter yield: Regal® and Gruner yielded significantly more DM than Kestrel or Rawera kales. A late-winter flush of leaf growth lifted yields of Regal and Kestrel, but not Gruner or Rawera. For the best of both worlds (yield and leaf), choose Regal.
Leaf percentage: Regal and Kestrel produced more leaf compared with Gruner or Rawera. The difference was very obvious by latewinter. For a leafy crop, particularly in late winter, choose Regal or Kestrel.
Metabolisable energy (MJME) content: Kestrel contained significantly more energy (MJME/kgDM) and less neutral detergent fibre (NDF) than the other kale cultivars. While Kestrel recorded a lower DM yield, its energy density lifted the MJME yield per hectare to levels comparable with other cultivars.
Stem quality: Kestrel had the highest quality stem, with 13.0 MJME/kgDM for top stem and 11.6 MJME for stem base. The results indicated Rawera has a very low quality stem base (8.7 MJME/kgDM), almost a 3.3 reduction in the MJME value recorded for top stem.
DM yield: If the amount of feed available is your key requirement, choose Regal® or Gruner. Both kale cultivars produce a high DM yield; however, Regal had a flush of new leaf growth in late winter while Gruner lost leaf. When late-winter leaf and yield is needed, choose Regal over Gruner.
Quality: When stock liveweight gain and/or body condition score is your priority, choose Kestrel. A high quality stem and good leaf percentage allows Kestrel to provide a premium feed option. When quantity and forage quality are equally important, Regal’s high leaf percentage and high DM yield delivers on both, optimising performance of your stock.
Firefly kale is a high yielding, intermediate-height kale with a high leaf-to-stem ratio. Excellent crop utilisation by animals due to single plant selection for soft stems during the plant breeding process. Firefly is the first kale cultivar available in the Cleancrop™ Brassica System bred to have a herbicide resistance trait, which allows the application of Telar® herbicide at both pre- and post-emergence for excellent weed control.