Summer Cropping Options
Summer crops can play an important part in dairy feed systems, especially as farmers work to grow as much home-grown feed as possible. Options for summer crops will depend on the region, soil moisture and access to irrigation water.
Planning is important to get the best production from the investment made in any crop. It is also important to purchase seed early to ensure supply.
Some options for summer crops include maize, sorghum, millet, chicory and brassicas. For some looking for quick spring feed, annual or Italian ryegrass could be options.
More information is available on the Planning your summer cropping fact sheet.
Nutrient and water application for maize and sorghum
Maize and sorghum are summer-growing annual crops that can produce high yields, making them a good option when water is scarce or expensive.
Careful irrigation and fertiliser management is required at critical times throughout the growing season in order to maximise return on investment.
Differences in management requirements between maize and sorghum may help farmers decide which one is more suitable for their farm.
Consider the following when making a decision:
- Capital available for investment
- Water availability
- Grazing management to avoid toxicity in sorghum
The Maize Silage and Millet and Sorghum pages have more information on the management and agronomy of these crops.