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Chicory a good option for finishing cattle

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Sustainable Industries

Ken Mutton, from Wickepin, has been pretty impressed by the performance of his chicory and lucerne plantings.

Lucerne (Medicago sativa) is a drought tolerant, herbaceous, perennial legume. It’s highly responsive to out of season rainfall and has a high palatability and feed value, while Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a warm season perennial herb, growing for 2-5 years. It has excellent feed quality and moderate drought tolerance.

Ken has planted 20 hectares to these fodder crops as part of Wheatbelt NRM’s work demonstrating options to increase groundcover over the summer months.

Planted in June 2020, germination over the dry winter period was enough to allow a short graze in September.

Recent rains has boosted post grazing recovery and prompted a second burst of germination. Currently ground cover is at approximately 45%

Ken plans to graze the site again over summer. He believes that with careful grazing management it could still be providing grazing in 5 years’ time.

Ken said “I’ve been happy with how it has recovered after the cattle were in it. It’s recovering well and I can see lots more germination after the rains.”

Have you heard of Chicory as a forage option?

Chicory has reliable summer growth, even with low rainfall, due to its deep taproot system. It can be used as a one or two-year summer crop in a pasture renovation program or as a two to four-year perennial crop that can be over sown with cereals, annual or perennial grasses.

If you’re interested in hearing more about Ken and his Lucerne and Chicory join the Wheatbelt NRM mixed farming interest Group and receive direct information.

Contact Jacquie Lucas on jlucas@wheatbeltnrm.org.au or 9670 3113.

This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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