Kiwi Chicory
Kiwi Chicory

Kiwi Chicory

Overview

A very palatable, late maturing, perennial herb providing extended seasonal growth.

• Acid soil tolerant
• Ideal for finishing livestock
• Very high rate of summer activity
• Excellent lucerne companion

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Scientific Name
Chicorium intybus

Sowing Rate: 2-5 kg/ha
Blend Rate: 0.5-2 kg/ha


Plant Characteristics

  • Short-term perennial
  • Grows broad prostrate leaves forming a rosette
  • Becomes more upright when actively growing in spring and nearing flowering.

Activity

Warm-season growing herb, growing actively from early spring to late autumn. Winter growth slows when frosts occur, but will continue until soil temp drops below 9˚C.

Area of Adaption

  • Deep tap root enables moderate drought tolerance.
  • Can be used as an alternative to lucerne on acidic soils in high rainfall areas.

Seed Size

830,000 seeds per kg

(Source: Pasture Varieties used in NSW 2006-2007, Bev Zurbo, 2006)

Soil Type

Prefers deep, fertile free-draining soils. Chicory is capable of rooting depth of over 1 metre.

Fertility

Good base rates of phosphorus are necessary for maximum DM production especially during the establishment phase. Chicory needs to be sown with annual legumes or regularly supplied with sufficient nitrogen to maintain quality and production.

Sowing

Chicory can be sown in autumn or late winter to spring, provided plants are established sufficiently to survive the first summer. Chicory is a small seed and should be sown at 2-5 kg/ha alone or 0.5-2 kg/ha in a mixed pasture. Seedling recruitment will only occur under favourable conditions and management.

Disease and Pest Management

Susceptible to damage from Red Legged Earth Mite right through its life cycle, so monitor carefully and spray if required. A residual insecticide is essential at sowing to minimise damage to establishing seedlings

Weed Control

Weed control in the years prior to sowing chicory is crucial as post emergent broadleaf herbicide options are limited. Always use a knockdown herbicide to ensure sowing into a clean seedbed and minimise competition.

Grazing

Chicory must be rotationally grazed to persist, a 3-4 week rotation is ideal to maintain production and feed quality. Aim to maintain 70% leaf and 30% stem. In a mixed pasture, monitor closely over winter as stock will preferentially graze chicory and chew out the crown thus reducing plant numbers and increasing disease levels.

Chicory is not suitable for hay production as the leaf will not dry down properly (has a tendency to turn black) but can be used for silage.

Feed Quality

Well balanced levels of crude protein, energy and minerals. Excellent feed source for finishing lambs. Maximise leaf area (highly palatable) and minimise stem growth (reduced palatability).

Animal Health

Chicory does not cause bloat in cattle as it contains condensed tannins and is commonly sown in combination with lucerne to counteract its bloating effect.

Chicory is known to taint milk if it comprises more than 50% of the cow’s diet. This can also be overcome by grazing the chicory immediately after milking. It is not known to taint meat.

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