Territory Stories

Katherine rural review



Katherine rural review


Northern Territory. Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries


Katherine rural review; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Katherine rural review






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Agriculture; Northern Territory; Katherine; Periodicals; Animal industry; Rural industries; Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

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Katherine rural review

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Northern Territory Government



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Katherine Rural Review P a g e | allow them to dry properly. While slicing the beets, it was obvious that some of the beets had been infected with a root rot. There were black streaks though some of the beets. The taproots of some of the plants in the field had also rotted. No other disease problems were noticed in the fodder beets. The average and ranges of fresh weight, dry weight and moisture content of the SF Brigadier tops, beets and whole plants are presented in the table below. Table 1. Average and ranges of fresh weight, dry weight and moisture content of the fodder beet Measurement Tops Beets Total Average fresh weight (g) 524 2769 3292 Fresh weight range (g) 308 - 717 1553 - 3499 2113 - 4216 Average dry weight (g) 53 121 174 Dry weight range (g) 26 - 91 83 - 153 124 - 211 Average moisture % 10.1 4.4 5.3 Moisture % range 5.0 13.9 3.4 5.4 4.0 6.5 Assuming a recommended plant population of 80 000 plants per hectare, this plant size yield equates to dry matter yields of 4.2 t/ha of tops and 9.7 t/ha of beets with a total yield of 13.9 t/ha. This yield is lower than the predicted yield of 20 to 40 t/ha for a number of good reasons. The yield in this demonstration was reduced by the late sowing and shorter than expected growing season, the competition from weeds, the damage by insects and possibly heat stress late in the dry season. The fodder beets produced this 13.9 t/ha yield in 52 days after the establishment period, at a rate of 267.7 kg/ha/day. With a mid-April sowing, and harvest in mid-September, at that growth rate, SF Brigadier fodder beets could potentially produce dry matter yields of between 30 and 40 t/ha over a 138 day growing period. Some of the tops, and beets cut into sections were provided to cattle in an adjacent paddock at KRS. The cattle readily ate the fodder beet tops, but only one animal ate a portion of a beet. The conclusion from this demonstration is that SF Brigadier fodder beet is capable of growing well and producing good yields of dry matter under irrigation in the dry season at Katherine. More work will need to be conducted on the agronomy of the crop and to determine how to control Cavalcade in fodder beet crops. How the crop is used also needs to be considered. The crop can be grazed in the field or harvested and stored for later use. Storage may be a problem in the hot humid climate of the Top End. The value of the fodder beet as a feed, and the economics of production would need to be evaluated before fodder beet could be recommended as a viable option for Top End producers. Fodder beet establishment 5 September 2014

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