Paul Rovey, a dairyman and entrepreneur, has found a new crop, feed beets, which in early field trials appears to be cheaper to grow while maintaining the high nutritional needs for his 2,000 cow Jersey dairy herd. Beets require fewer crop inputs including one-third less water and less nitrogen, compared to corn silage..
Paul Rovey, owner, Rovey Dairy, Glendale, Ariz., discusses feed beets in his Jersey cow ration during a field day held in late June. Rovey says beets are a nutritious, highly digestible, and a less expensive feed option for dairy cows.
A tractor pulls the Amity defoliator through the beet field. Beet yields at Rovey Dairy average about 49 tons per acre, says Paul Rovey.
Jersey cows munch away at the feed. Notice the chunks of beets.
Arizona dairymen at the field day include, from left: Matt Bowser, Brian Johnson, and Tyler Sutter of Rovey Dairy, Glendale; and Gary Thompson and David Hutchison of Stotz Dairy, Buckeye.
A beet tap root is about 5-6 feet long and uptakes nutrients from deep in the soil.
Bodie Clements, 10, of Wendell, Idaho shows off several whoppers.