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Growing A High-Yield Winter Feed Crop



Often seen as an expensive crop to grow per hectare, with the correct agronomy fodder beet can be one of the cheapest winter feed crops per kg of dry matter to grow. There can be issues when put under early weed pressure, but it’s an excellent option when you need a high yielding winter feed crop.



CLICK HERE to listen to Farmlands Agronomist Michael Bennet speak to REX host Dominic George about fodder beet being a great winter feed option.




  • When lifted, can be stored for up to six months under ideal conditions
  • Excellent quality of winter feed for liveweight gain
  • Can grow in presence of brassica diseases (Dry Rot, Club Root)
  • Holds quality into spring when brassicas shouldn’t be utilised by stock.



  • What class of stock are you considering wintering? Use low or medium dry matter varieties for grazing in situ vs high dry matter for lifting. Consider lower dry matter for younger stock or sheep.
  • What is the soil type? Heavy soils are more prone to pugging, however free draining soils carry a higher risk of nitrate leaching.
  • What is the soil fertility situation? Nutrient levels and pH? Effluent paddocks are ideal for beet.
  • What is the location of the paddock? ie: near waterways or other sensitive areas.
  • What is the slope of the paddock? Will it fit within the 10-degree rule?
  • Have any residual herbicides such as picloram, chlorsulfuron or aminopyralid been applied in the last 18 months?
  • Will you require a resource consent for growing fodder beet?
  • Are you considering lifting part, or all of the crop? This will impact on cultivar selection.
  • Fodder beet is a high energy low protein winter feed, additional supplement is required to ensure stock have balanced nutritition.

Talk to us today about planting these seed varieties from our valued suppliers:


Jamon: Having been evaluated in New Zealand for a number of years, has developed a reputation for confidence in reliability, Jamon is a uniform, mono-germ orange cultivar. Jamon has a bulb dry matter of between 16 to 18%. Jamon has excellent leaf holding in late autumn and which a trait valued when grazing most stock classes.


Bangor: is a modern monogerm hybrid variety that is ideal for grazing. Bangor is a uniform fodder beet with a medium bulb dry matter percentage with a high yield potential.


Delicante: Exciting NEW white skinned variety with exceptional fresh and dry matter yields. Delicante has clean roots with healthy foliage which has good resistance to rust and mildew. Delicante has also good tolerance to bolting.


Enermax was bred specifically for farmers wanting to lift, store and feed fodder beet to animals. It produces bulbs with a consistent size and height. The yield potential is high and the high bulb drymatter percentage (19-21%*) is an advantage for lifting. Enermax is a modern monogerm hybrid variety with high-quality seed for consistent establishment.


Robbos has relatively soft orange-yellow bulbs, suitable for grazing by all stock types. Its high leaf quality can also help with transitioning stock onto beet.


Cropzeal Boron Boost from Ballance:


This high-quality compound fertiliser, is particularly suited for use with fodder beet. It contains nitrogen, phosphorus and boron and will distribute nutrients evenly through the crop, to promote better growth and health. It is important to take a soil test and get a fertiliser recommendation that is right for your crop.



Talk to us to find out more about Fodder Beet and the right cultivar for you.