Herbs offer a high and wide range of minerals to grazing stock, notably calcium, copper, zinc and magnesium.
Chicory is predominantly a warm season active plant whilst Ecotain® environmental plantain offers year-round productivity, especially during winter.
They both have a well balanced protein to energy ratio supporting good rumen function and have low levels of fibre to improve digestibility, enabling a rapid passage through the gut.
Faster passage through the gut means greater intake by animals resulting in higher liveweight gains in lambs and beef and higher milk production in dairy cows.
This has been proven in a number of trials throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Avoid sowing herbs where broadleaf weeds are anticipated until weed problems have been reduced. Knockdown (for both herbs) and pre-emergent Trifluralin herbicides (with chicory only) can be used prior to sowing.
There are some chemicals that have been trialled with some promising results on chicory and plantain. Igran 500SC and Kamba 750 from Nufarm are registered in Australia for broadleaf control in seedling and established plantain pastures. Please contact your local agronomist for more information.
The main insect pest that affects herbs at establishment are red legged earthmite. Inspect paddocks and spray if necessary. The other alternative is to use SPS KickStart® treated seed which can give 4-6 weeks protection, click HERE for details. Slugs can also damage newly sown herbs. Chemical control can be achieved by baiting through broadcasting pellets.