COVERGRAZE

Introduction

COVERGRAZE is a tool to simplify the use of cover crops as an option for grazing. Usually we would look at cover crops as a sustainable way of farming, but with no additional income. Now, with COVERGRAZE, you can make better species selection for direct incorporation into the soil, cutting for composting, and/or quality grazing with high stocking rates for added value. COVERGRAZE allows you to select species to address your needs and you can benefit from this with either mono culture or a mixture of species. COVERGRAZE is an opportunity to introduce plant diversity to your soils that will increase microbial diversity, improve organic matter and natural aeration, with the added advantage of the option to graze.

 

Weed suppression

• The main purpose is to suppress weeds in a natural way.
• Species that are suitable for this purpose must have the following abilities:
      - Smothering effect
      - Overshadowing effect
      - Aggressive growth habit
• Soil improvement can be an added benefit through root crops and legumes.
• Products for this purpose:
      - Oats, White Mustard, Fodder Radish, Vetch, Phacelia (winter rainfall area)
      - Forage Sorghum, Babala, Teff, Cowpeas, Sunn Hemp, Fodder Radish, Saia Oats (summer rainfall area)
• Example of a mixture:
      - 10kg BarSaia + 2kg Tajuna Radish + 10kg Haymaker Vetch + 1kg Sito Mustard

 

Nitrogen fixation

• The main purpose is soil improvement through nitrogen fixation.
• Root development will greatly contribute to soil aeration.
• Legumes will primarily be used for their ability to fix nitrogen.
• Make sure you use applicable inoculants.
• Products for this purpose:
      - Faba beans, Forage peas, Vetch, Arrowleaf Clover, Medics, Fodder Radish,
Forage Barley (nitrogen retention) (winter rainfall area)
      - Cowpeas, Dolichos Lablab, Sunn Hemp, Fodder Radish, Forage Sorghum (nitrogen retention) (summer rainfall area)
• Example of a mixture:
      -10kg Bargrazer Forage Sorghum + 10kg Ebony Cowpeas + 4kg Dolichos Lablab + 1kg Turnip

 

Soil improvement

• The main purpose is to improve soil structure.
• Factors to address will be soil aeration, organic matter, soil microbe activity and nutrient fixation.
• Root development is crucial with regards to depth, speed of development and spreading ability.
• Nitrogen fixation will/can also be a beneficial factor.
• Products for this purpose:
      - Diakon Radish, Faba Beans, Forage peas, White Mustard, Vetch, Oats (winter rainfall area)
      - Diakon Radish, Turnips, Beets, Forage Sorghum, Sunn Hemp, Dolichos Lablab (summer rainfall area)
• Example of a mixture:
      - 2kg Tajuna Fodder Radish + 10kg Arvika Forage Peas + 1kg Sito White Mustard + 25kg Outback Oats

 

Fibre

• The main purpose is to produce the maximum amount dry matter with high fibre content.
• Species considered in a mixture must preferably have similar growing seasons.
• High fibre content usually indicates a longer growing season.
• High fibre content in plant material usually takes longer to disintegrate.
• High fibre content usually results in lower animal intake.
• Products for this purpose:
      - Lupines, Faba Beans, Vetch, Forage Rye, Oats, Rye, Forage Barley (winter rainfall area)
      - Forage Sorghum, Babala, Teff, Hybrid Millet, Dolichos Lablab, Fodder Radish (summer rainfall area)
• Example of a mixture:
      - 8kg Bargrazer Forage Sorghum + 5kg Babala + 6kg Dolichos Lablab

 

Handy Tip: Focus on species that has the ability to accumulate maximum fibre in a short period of time. Cereals like forage rye, Saia oats or even tef should be considered as a base for the mix to a point where it does not suppress the additional species. A 70:30 ratio should not be exceeded.

 

Protein Boost

• Main purpose is to have a high protein forage source.
• Single species can be used but multi-specie combinations has proved to suppress weeds better due to various growth patterns.
• Inclusion of legume species for higher protein content also benefit the soil through nitrogen fixation.
• Can also be used as hay or silage.
• Products for this purpose:
      - Triticale, Oats, Forage Rye, Vetch, Lupines, Forage Peas, Fodder Radish (winter rainfall area)
      - Jap Radish, Turnips, Cow Peas, Forage Sorghum, Chicory, Hybrid Millet (summer rainfall area)
• Example of a mixture:
      - 50kg US2014 Triticale + 10kg Haymaker Vetch + 20kg Bitter Lupines