New Zealand's Favourite Kale

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  • Sowing Rate 4 kg/HA
  • Grazing Seasons Autumn, Winter

Sovereign is a very popular New Zealand bred kale that combines excellent quality with a good yield potential. Sovereign has a very high top end yield potential, although average yields are around 10-14 t DM/ha, depending on management and environment. Sovereign has been utilised over anextremely wide range of environments, seasonal extremes and within differing farm systems. Sovereign continues to be one of the most farmer friendly kales in the industry.

Some of the key points that set Sovereign apart for farmer friendliness and ease of management are;

  1. Sovereign has a uniformly thin stem. Even at low plant numbers the diameter of Sovereign’s stem is not as great as the majority of kales in the
    industry. Thick stems left in the paddock after winter grazing become a management issue for seed bed preparation.
  2. Like all kales, Sovereign’s stem quality reduces from top to bottom; Sovereign’s bottom fraction of stem makes up less of total yield than many
    other kale cultivars.
  3. Sovereign is one of the latest flowering kales available in New Zealand. This means that in late grazing environments such as the Canterbury high
    country, or where there is a chance of excessive winter crop, Sovereign will last through to the start of October before the onset of flowering.
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Sowing & Establishment

Kale is traditionally sown between late November and early December. The only reason to sow earlier is if it is being sown in very dry conditions or lambs are be used to graze the crop in February/
March. Early sowing of kale may have higher drymatters and therefore possibly higher yields by late autumn, however this is associated with older plants with more lignin and lower quality stems. This can make utilisation harder and often leads to more stem left in the paddock.

January or early February sown Sovereign is a genuine alternative to sowing rape at this time. The benefits are that Sovereign will hold leaf for longer and the stem will maintain its quality for longer. It is a great option for young cattle and sheep grazing.

  • Sowing Rate 4 kg/HA,

Performance Data

Being aware of the components of the kale plant helps a grazier understand what they are feeding their animals and helps to create the correct expectations in animal performance. The tables below provide an extensive field based survey on the composition of large stemmed giant type kales and Sovereign.
Leaves are uniform in quality but stem quality reduces dramatically from the top of the stem to the bottom. The bottom fraction of the Sovereign stem makes up a much smaller part of total yield.


Composition (%of DM) and Crude Protein Content (CP%) and its Impact on Diet Protein Content for Different Kale Types

  Sovereign Giant Types
Plant Part  % of Total DM CP % of DM Diet* Crude Protein %  % of Total DM  CP % of DM Diet* Crude Protein % 
 Leaf 44 16.7 16.7 24 17.7 17.7
Upper Stem 11 10.0 15.4 17 9.5 14.3
Upper Mid 14 7.3 13.7 19 6.2 11.7
Lower Mid 15 5.9 12.3 20 5.7 10.2
Lower 16 5.6 11.2 20 4.5 9.0

* Diet CP% refers to the average CP% of the diet as more kale components are eaten.


Composition (% of total DM) and Metabolisable Energy Content (MJ ME/kg DM) and its Impact on Diet ME Content for Different Kale Types

  Sovereign Giant Types
Plant Part  % of Total DM Energy (MJ ME/kg DM) Diet ME* (MJ ME/kg DM)  % of Total DM  Energy (MJ ME/kg DM) Diet ME* (MJ ME/kg DM)
 Leaf 44 12.9 12.9 24 12.7 12.7
Upper Stem 11 12.4 12.8 17 11.6 12.2
Upper Mid 14 11.6 12.6 19 9.7 11.4
Lower Mid 15 9.4 12.0 20 9.8 11.0
Lower 16 8.6 11.5 20 6.6 10.1
*Diet ME refers to the average quality of the diet as more kale components are eaten.
Chris Atkinson Sovereign Testimonial
Excellent quality with a good narrow stem that hold its leaf well through the autumn and into winter

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