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LIVING UP TO ITS NAME: CLEANCROP™ CLEARS THE WAY

Damien Cocker, a dairy farmer from Sheffield, Tasmania, was struggling to fill the summer feed gap. After losing significant milk productivity from his 600 Friesian Jersey cross cattle throughout the drier months, Damien needed a long-lasting solution to address the seasonal instability.

"We’ve always grown conventional turnips, but we had to switch feed due to one of our usual herbicide options going off production," Damien explains.

Searching for a sustainable feed bank, Damien turned to DLF Seeds, which recently introduced the Cleancrop™ Brassica System to Australian farmers – and hasn’t looked back.

Its cutting-edge system integrates specially bred brassica cultivars with tolerance to the herbicide Telar®, offering a robust solution for weed management and crop enhancement, something DLF Seeds Product Development Manager Isaac Berry says is the perfect answer to filling the summer feed gap.

"Despite Cleancrop being a new technology to Australia, it has been tried and tested for over a decade across the ditch in New Zealand," explains Isaac.

"The benefits of Cleancrop are really in the name. Because of the tolerance to Telar®, there's great yield and regrowth capabilities, which increases grazing efficiency and ensures cleaner paddocks."

The Cleancrop Brassica System is implemented by preparing the paddock and seed beds, sowing the Cleancrop brassica seed as usual, before directly spraying Telar® within a 48 hour period post-sowing to manage weeds.

This method allows the brassica crops to grow without competition from the 48 weeds on the label, significantly improving yield and quality, something Rodney Bakker, a dairy farmer from Timboon, Victoria, says is a gamechanger.

"We planted Cleancrop Leafy turnip for the first time in October and November last year, right when the weather started to turn," explains Rodney.

"We implemented staggered planting techniques, so the crop provided about six weeks of grazing, with turnips growing knee-high.

“The cattle loved it and transitioned smoothly; now the girls sit and wait at the gate when moving paddock during the summer feed rotation!" Rodney laughed.

"Importantly though, milk yields stayed consistent over the summer, which is what we set out to do with this product."

Isaac highlighted the advantages this has for producers, noting Cleancrop provides farmers with a wider range of weed control compared to a traditional brassica.

“It allows crops to establish without competition, achieving higher yields and meeting productivity goals."

Rodney agrees. “It’s a handy solution to have feed all year round, maintaining milk yields and fitting perfectly into our management system."

Damien has experienced the direct benefits of switching from sowing traditional turnips to the DLF Seeds product.

"The choice of sowing Cleancrop Toto turnip, despite a bit more management, was a great change to our rotations. The weed control has been outstanding, truly living up to its name.”

“We saw yields of 18-20 tonnes per hectare, with the cows adapting quickly to the new forage."

Rodney adds, "It's a great product for paddocks with high weed pressure. Cleancropminimised weeds like Wireweed and Fathen making it easier to replant grass afterward."

The Cleancrop Brassica System also supports sustainability by reducing the need for multiple herbicide applications and promoting efficient forage production.

By integrating high-performance cultivars with effective weed control, the system streamlines crop management and enhances pasture quality.

“We only sowed 5.5 hectares last season, and that wasn’t nearly enough! Given the success we had, we’re planning to more than double our planting this coming spring,” adds Rodney.

DLF Seeds continues to lead in agricultural innovation, helping Australian farmers achieve higher productivity and sustainability in their operations.

With the Cleancrop Brassica System, farmers can look forward to more efficient and profitable forage production, ensuring they stay ahead of agricultural challenges.

"Pastures remain consistently the most cost-effective and sustainable method of feeding cattle, especially with the increasing pressures in the agricultural industry," explains Isaac.

“We’re proud to offer the Cleancrop Brassica System as a valuable addition to the farmer’s toolkit to control weeds, increase yields and, provide them with certainty through science."

Available through your local accredited rural retailer or agent. To find out more about Cleancrop™ or to locate your nearest stockist, get in touch with your DLF Seeds Sales Agronomist today.