New Hybrid Brassica leading the way in Irish trials

Mainstar promises high yields of leafy forage with excellent utilisation and judging by the data collected so far, it won’t disappoint.

Sowing brassicas like forage rape for winter grazing is a cost-effective way of boosting winter forage stocks while also extending the grazing season.

This year DLF are offering Irish farmers a new hybrid brassica - Mainstar

Mainstar promises high yields of leafy forage with excellent utilisation and judging by the data collected so far, it won’t disappoint.

In 2023 we established a number of forage rape grazing trials on farms across the country to assess the yield, quality and utilisation of Mainstar compared to the leading varieties on the market. The graph below shows some impressive initial results for Mainstar. The DM yield of Mainstar particularly stands out, producing 1.8t/ha more than the next best variety.

Forage rape is a fast-growing, leafy crop often used to finish lambs or out-winter stock. Crucial to the quality of any forage rape crop is the proportion of leaf to stem – we want varieties with high leaf content to maximise crop quality and utilisation. In our trial Mainstar showed one of the highest proportions of Leaf with 64% of its yield made up of the highest quality, most digestible fraction.

Variety

DM %

% Leaf

% Stem

Gorilla

13

52

48

Interval

13

49

51

Mainstar

12

64

36

Rampart

13

63

37

Redstart

14

55

45

Spitfire

13

54

46

Stego

13

64

36

*1 year's data from two farms.

We saw a clear difference too in utilisation between varieties (below), those with greater stem % leaving more waste behind.

Mainstar is a high yielding, high quality hybrid brassica new to Ireland this year.

If you would like to learn more about the value of Mainstar forage rape and how to manage it then call Bill Reilly on 086 829 0765