La Certa Chicory is a variety selected in Uruguay for its tall, erect growth habit, leaf type, lateness in stem elongation and uniformity. It is more winter-active and earlier ﬂowering than Puna and contains low levels of lactucin, the chemical that can cause a bitter taint in milk that make other varieties of chicory unpalatable at certain times of the year.
Chicory works in similar soils to what Lucerne grows in and they both go well in a mix together.
Figure 1. Plant density (plants/m2) of Puna and La Certa chicory grown at Wagga, Barmedman and Binalong between 2004-06. Values at each date differ significantly (P<0.05) unless otherwise indicated (n.s.)
Table 1. Seasonal (spring, summer, autumn/winter) herbage production (kg/ha) of 2 chicory cultivars grown in 3 NSW wheatbelt environments. Values within a season at each site differ significantly (P<0.01) unless otherwise indicated (n.s.)
1. Hayes R.C., Dear ,B.S., Li G.D. and Lihou C., 2006. Production and persistence of a winter-active chicory cultivar in southern NSW. In: Turner N.C., Acuna T. and Johnson, R.C. (eds) “Ground-breaking stuff”. Proceedings of the 13th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference, 10 – 14th September, Perth, Western Australia. Australian Society of Agronomy.
The benefits of chicory in mixes
Redgut is a livestock disease caused by excess protein in the diet. It is seen in pure stands of lucerne. The potential for this to occur can be reduced by including chicory in the mix. Chicory also increases the utilisation of the protein in the lucerne. Chicory suits similar soils to where lucerne grows and similar chemicals can be used to control broad leaf weeds in a mix between two. Include chicory at 1-2kg + Magna 804 lucerne at your local mix rate.
Pure stands of forage brassicas have been attacked by Diamond back moth Plutella xylostella as they move on from canola crops in dry years. If spraying for this pest is not desired you can mix chicory with forage rage at 1-2kg plus your local rate for Hobson forage rape. Chicory is resistant to diamondback moth and is also perennial so in the next year you can sow your grasses directly over the top of it in autumn