Kestrel Brassicas

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High yields

High leaf proportion

Excellent digestibility

Good re-growth potential

Superior animal production

Description

Maris Kestrel is a full maturity leafy kale variety with short stems (150-220 days to grazing). Kestrel was bred to have a low-fiber stem with high digestibility.

Kestrel can be used to extend the grazing season as the cool season pasture season ends. The leaves and stems are highly digestible. Suitable for dairy, beef, and sheep. Kestrel can also be used as a break crop in order to convert older pastures to different species and newer varieties. An annual crop gives a bigger window to eliminate the old undesirable forage through the use of herbicides, tillage, and the competition of the brassica crop itself.

Other Info

Table 1: Dry matter and digestible yield and utilization of kale cultivars from 3 years of trials at Gore (Adapted from Gowers and Armstrong 1994*)

Cultivar

Total yield (t/ha)

Residue (t/ha

Estimated Intake (t/ha)

Utilization (%)

Kestrel

9.5

3.5

6.0

62.9

Medium Stem

9.7

6.2

3.5

36.6

Kapeti

11.3

6.1

5.2

45.8

Gruner

12.2

6.4

5.8

47.4

Bittern

10.2

4.2

6.0

58.0

Merlin

9.4

4.1

5.3

56.4



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Table 2: Feed Analysis For Kestrel

 

%Dry Matter

Crude Protein (% DM)

Organic matter Digestibility (% DM)

ADF (% DM)

Energy MJME/kgDM

Mt Somers

12.9

13.1

85.7

17.7

12.5

Gore

14.2

13.3

90.3

16.7

12.9

P
 g/kg

K
 g/kg

Mg
 g/kg

Ca
 g/kg

Cu
mg/kg

Zn
mg/kg

Mn
 mg/kg

Fe
 mg/kg

S%

Mt Somers

3.10

20.7

1.24

14.4

3.3

19.5

17.1

105

0.81

Gore

3.78

18.1

1.59

21.8

2.8

18.1

10.0

68

0.78



A single replicate Friesian beef live weight gain study at Kimihia Research Centre confirmed the advantage Kestrel has over tall Giant type kales such as Rawara (Fig 2) for live weight gain per head.



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Sowing and Establishment:
Plant in the spring after soil warms to 50F. Sow Kestrel at 3-4 lbs per acre. Plant at ¼" to ½" deep. Seed can be no-tilled into suppressed sod or seeded into a conventionally prepared seedbed. If tillage is conducted, let the first flush of weeds germinate, then till the field one more time to control weeds. After final tillage pass, firm soil with a cultipacker, then either drill or broadcast seed. Following seeding, cultipack field once more to improve seed-to-soil contact.

Fertility:
Follow soil test recommendations. Avoid fields high in sulfur. Nitrogen: If not using manure, apply 75 lbs/A nitrogen at seeding followed by an additional 70 lbs/A after 60-80 days.

Grazing Tips:
Leaves have very high energy and low fiber. Nitrate testing is advised for high fertility scenarios. Start by grazing for no more than 1-2 hours per day. Slowly increase to a maximum intake over at least 7-10 days to allow rumen to adjust.
- Feed extra fiber while grazing, or allow access to stockpiled grass pasture.
- Consult with your nutritionist to ensure ration is balanced.




References
Barry, T.N., 1978. Some factors governing the nutritive value of brassica crops. Proceedings of the Agronomy Society of New Zealand 8: 143-148

Forss, D.A. and Barry, T.N. 1983. Observations on nitrile production during autolysis of kales and swedes, and their stability during incubation with rumen fluid. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 34: 1077-1084

Gowers, S. and Armstrong, S.D. 1994. A comparison of the yield and utilization of six kale cultivars. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 37: 481-485