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Getting the most out of Plantain

A valuable and productive addition

INTRODUCTION

Tonic Plantain is a broad leaved perennial herb with a fibrous root system which can produce a forage crop that can be fed to both cows and sheep. Plantain suits a range of soil types and can be grown on its own or mixed with a grass, Puna II Chicory and clover ley. As herbs, both Tonic Plantain and Puna II Chicory are ideal companions in multi species swards along with other grasses and legumes.

BENEFITS

  • It is highly productive and can produce improved live weight gain in livestock.
  • Improved dry matter production and quality at key times of the year. Tonic Plantain can produce over 15 tons of dry matter per ha per year.
  • Tonic also has a positive impact on animal performance by improving the supply of some trace elements.
  • Ideally suited to intensive or rotational grazing systems, with rapid regrowth post grazing in dry summers.

Guide

1. Control weeds before sowing as post emergence spray is limited.

2. Spring sowing is preferential into warm soils at least 10°C. Sow into a clean, fine, firm seed bed.

3. Sow 6 kgs seed per hectare or 2.5kg/acre for a pure stand. Reduce seed rate to between 1.5/3 kgs per ha when grown with grasses and clovers.

4. Drill to a maximum depth of 1 cm as seeds are small. Lime and fertiliser requirements are similar to grass leys.

5. Graze as soon as plants reach 20cm and well anchored and allow grazing down to 4cm.

6. Rotationally graze to fully utilise the crops potential.

7. Ensure short, intensive periods of grazing with adequate recovery periods. Optimum rotation length is generally 3 weeks, depending on plant growth.

8. Ideally graze to a residual of 5–6 cm.

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