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;
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.
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
|Plant Part||% of Total DM||CP % of DM||Diet* Crude Protein %||% of Total DM||CP % of DM||Diet* Crude Protein %|
* 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
|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)|