BMR Rocket impresses Kangaroo Valley beef farmersMay 29, 2020
17t DM/ha from 3 cuts off BMR Rocket has more than impressed Kangaroo Valley beef farmers John and Alex Good.
In a very difficult season either side of Christmas BMR Rocket was still able to still produce the goods for the Goods with little growth after the first cut due to the prolonged hot & dry period until the late January rain.
Alex commented, “our operation mainly consists of beef breeders (Angus X dairy ) and a smaller percentage of trade cattle where we normally grow some forage sorghum to make wrapped silage to take pressure off during periods of reduced pasture growth. We also sell any excess silage we make to nearby dairy farmers.”
“What appealed to me about BMR Rocket over other forage sorghums was having a bigger planting seed means it has better early vigour and seems to handle our cooler starts better. Because of the good early vigour it seems to get away on the initial growth better than other varieties and with the BMR gene you get a softer material (both leaves & stems). Even though BMR Rocket is not quite as fine as sudan types it really makes up for it being softer and therefore more digestible. Some hybrids we tried were finer but their stems were like wood.”
We planted the BMR Rocket on our Barrengarry block on 20 October at a planting rate of 20 kg/ha into country that was fallowed over winter. Prior to planting 2.5 t/ha of Lime & 14 cubic m/ha of turkey manure was incorporated as the country had been depleted. At planting we added 100 kg/ha of Crop Lift 13 + 1% Z. The first cut occurred in the later half of December and returned us 5 t DM/ha of wrapped silage when it was about 1.7 m high but no heads had initiated.
The paddock was then top dressed with 250 kg/ha of Greentop K Plus with 10 mm of rain followed by a very hot and dry period with little growth until the 100 mm of rain in late January. With the wet conditions in February the second cut did not occur until late in the month where we achieved an impressive 8 t DM/ha & the crop was about 2 m tall but still had not gone to head.
Following the second cut the crop was top dressed again with 200 kg/ha of Greentop K Plus and a final cut happened in late April as it cooled down yielding a further 4 t DM/ha giving a total yield from the 3 cuts of 17 t DM/ha.
In summary Alex said “he was stoked with the performance of BMR Rocket in a difficult season & once again highlighted it’s early vigour, even with nearly 8 weeks between cuts it had not gone to head & it seems to be different from any other forage sorghum in that it is so soft & palatable even though not as thin & fine as other sudan hybrids”.
Alex is part time on the family farm and his fulltime job is an agronomist with Bowral Co-op so it is no surprise after his experience with BMR Rocket that is his main recommendation for forage sorghum on the Southern Highlands, particularly for silage & direct grazing.