Fodder beets are a high yielding late autumn/winter forage crop that could pose significant benefit for the Tasmanian dairy industry.
Fodder beets have an additional advantage of not being a brassica species and as such are not exposed to the same pests (particularly diamond back moth) and diseases that forage brassicas are. These benefits mean that fodder beets are ideally suited to act as an alternate crop to forage brassicas in environments where brassicas are limited by pests, diseases and weeds, or as a method of extending the cropping rotation following a forage brassica as part of a pasture renovation program.
Despite the potentially high dairy milk yields, high quality and other benefits, fodder beets are a relatively minor crop in the Tasmanian dairy industry. This can be partially attributed to the difficulty in establishing the crop.
This project, funded by DairyTas, investigated methods to maximise the establishment of fodder beets on Tasmanian dairy farms.
For further information please contact Dr Keith Pembleton.