Increase your liveweight production per hectare with Pallaton Raphno® - Elders Rural Services
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Increase your liveweight production per hectare with Pallaton Raphno®

Pallaton provides feed when farmers need it most by bridging the summer/autumn feed gap for beef, sheep, and dairy.

Pallaton is a raphanobrassica, a hybrid between Brassica oleracea (kale) and Raphanus sativus (radish). It is high yielding, offering flexible grazing as early as 56 days after sowing, but can also be deferred up to 100 days after sowing. It is persistent under multiple grazings and has shown high palatability to stock. With excellent water use efficiency and aphid tolerance, Pallaton is perfect for many farming operations.

Local Tasmanian farmer Will Bignell did a test plot in 2019.

“We were so impressed with Pallaton, and how the sheep performed on it, that we sowed half our lamb forage down to it. Impressive water use efficiency,” he said.

While the initial seed cost may be seen as relatively high, if managed effectively, Pallaton provides farmers with a very high return on investment due to multiple grazing opportunities, high dry matter yields, and high weight gains in beef and sheep.

Alick Beggs and his sons run a merino sheep in Reedy Creek SA and reported that after the first grazing, they had about $600 a hectare clear profit.

“And we still have another three or four grazing’s to go. The lambs love it and are achieving weight gains of up to 300 grams a day,” he added.

Is Pallaton right for you?

PGG Wrightson Seeds product development manager Isaac Berry says Pallaton is a highly adaptable plant but requires attention to detail, most importantly fertiliser and grazing management.

“Pallaton isn’t just a forage rape where you expect one or two grazings; this plant has incredible regrowth characteristics, produces more dry matter when grazed regularly and responds quickly to rainfall due to its taproot,” Mr Berry added.

“On average farmers will see between three to five grazings from Pallaton.”

In comparison to other forage brassicas, Pallaton needs to be grazed more regularly. When grazing with lambs, farmers should start to graze at 56DAS, getting through the crop within 30 days.

As a result of Pallaton’s growth under foot, you need to rethink how you calculate yield and stocking rates. If you measure the yield at 3tDM/ha at day 56, expect the yield to be a lot higher (4-5tDM/ha) by the time you finish the first grazing. Stocking higher than the initial yield at day 56 is essential as it’s a crucial step in helping to utilise the dry matter on offer.

Sowing Pallaton Raphno is an opportunity for you to increase your return on investment and dry matter production. Achieve three to five grazings and increase liveweight production per hectare, providing attention is giving during establishment, and appropriate grazing management is applied.

Pallaton Raphno is available through your local Elders store.

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Article written by Stephanie Hodge marketing coordinator, PGG Wrightson Seeds for Seasons magazine.