Forage outlook and options for 2024
The climate is keeping us on our toes and this year (2023) has been no exception. It calls for flexibility and agility when it comes to growing forage crops. Limagrain’s forage crop manager John Spence sows some seeds of ideas on future proofing home grown feed supplies going forward.


“We’re ending the year with decent stores of grass and maize silage, but this doesn’t tell the full story,” says John Spence. “A cold late spring delayed grass growth, then for most grass silage making started well, until heavy rain arrived.

John Spence_Forage Manager_Oct21 (1)Hot and dry conditions weren’t as extreme as 2022, but some were affected with poor grass growth, then some respite and good grass growth through a mild autumn until heavy rain put some areas under water at worst and at best caused the late sowing of forage catch crops which will certainly hamper their yield and quality.

So farmers are faced with balancing more extreme weather conditions and the drive to improve sustainability and economic viability by producing more feed value from home grown forages.

“Marrying the two is quite a challenge,” adds Mr Spence.

“Agility and flexibility are key when it comes to planning. Avoid planning everything in stone and being too rigid with the cropping.”


Forage choices

The dairy system will determine forage options, with more alternatives typically possible in grazing herd situations. “A herd housed full time will usually rely on conserved high quality silages. “This has to remain the priority,” says Mr Spence. “But introducing forages like fodder beet and forage rye can really boost output from homegrown forages, as well as opting for higher production grass seed mixtures and clovers.

“Grazed herds can consider kale too, and some brassicas like Skyfall that ‘bounces back’, in effect giving two grazing crops, through summer which can take the pressure off the grass.”

Fodder beet, though, has been used in dairy cow diets for many years in areas where it can be grown on farm or locally on contract.

“This is a high energy crop, highly digestible and ‘enjoyed’ by dairy cows. We’ve tested a range of varieties in our own UK farm trials for more than 10 years and yields are consistently reliable, even in dry hot summers,” he adds.

“And new modern varieties are out-performing some of the older fodder beets. Limagrain trials consistently show the variety Fosyma to have the best dry matter yield at 14% above the control variety Magnum, and 5% above its closest rival Brick.”

Fodder beet’s feed value at 78% digestibility and 13MJ/kg of dry matter is a valuable addition to any dairy ration.

Kale might have been out of fashion. “But not anymore,” adds Mr Spence. “Here again, new varieties with improved feed value have brought the crop back into the spotlight.”

He highlights Bombardier – a relatively new kale variety with a nutritious stem and leaf with 72% digestibility in UK trials and 17% crude protein It’s sown between April and June so it can follow first cut silage and provide a valuable break crop in the grass rotation.

“A kale crop can slot into the plan for many grazing herds. It’s fast-growing so cattle can strip graze it as a buffer feed in mid-summer to take the pressure off the grass.

But it has a long shelf-life too, so it’s a useful crop for youngstock and dry cows in autumn and winter. In either situation it can be used as a break crop and followed with a grass reseed. Break crops between grass crops are increasingly important in breaking the pest cycle and improving productivity of grass leys.”

Forage rye has been particularly popular this autumn – 2023, with crops following harvest or early maturing maize varieties. It can be sown until late October and is ready for cutting or grazing in early spring, even before Italian ryegrass.

A crude protein content of 12% and an ME of 10MJ/kg DM makes it an ideal forage for late lactation or dry cows, or youngstock. And once finished, the field can go back into maize or a spring reseed.

 “A crop of rye will provide a valuable feed to eke out silages and it’s also a great crop to mop up residual nutrients and maintain soil health. The only caveat maybe sowing in a very wet autumn, but most farmers were in time this year, as the first half of autumn was warm and dry. So again, a flexible approach is needed and the will to act if conditions are right.”


Grass is king

Grass is the most important forage for most dairy farmers, and increasing its productivity and feed value should be on-going. This includes regular reseeding and taking advantage of improved grass seed mixtures and always selecting a grass seed mixture to suit the system and purpose of the crop, as well as the growing conditions and soil type.

“There are new varieties, improved grass seed mixtures and enhancements to match changing conditions. So farmers should seek advice and look for mixtures with proven trial results and good performance on UK farms and be discerning in their choices,” adds Mr Spence.

Limagrain trials in 2020 highlight the benefit of reseeding and of selecting proven mixtures. Table 1 highlights the productivity of a one year old ley and a four year old ley. The additional 45% of energy produced by the new sward was equivalent to more than 6,000 litres of milk (assuming 5.3MJ/litre).


Table 1


Age of Sward (Years)





Benefit of New Ley

1st Cut DM yield (t/ha)




ME (MJ/kg DM)




ME yield (MJ/ha)




Source: Limagrain UK Trials, May 2020


“The additional energy yield value from younger leys will increase the proportion of milk yield from home-grown forage, reduce bought-in feed costs and this will justify the cost of the reseed. Depending on the age and quality of the ley, estimates suggest the additional yield in year one of a reseed will cover its cost.”

Limagrain UK Grass Trials (1)Trials have also demonstrated the benefits of improved mixtures with proven feed values. LGAN is the accreditation given to LG mixtures that meet the company’s combined yield and feed value criteria, and table 2 shows the performance range at first cut of the one-year-old mixtures on trial.

“The best performing mixture at first cut was LGAN Quality Silage, which produced more than 7t/DM of 12.5ME silage. The trial year, 2020, was particualrly dry, so these results demonstrate the big gains that can be made by using high-feed-value mixtures.”

Table 2





DM yield (t/ha)




ME (MJ/kg)




ME yield (MJ/ha)





Stock up on clover

A forage outlook for 2024 wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the benefits of clover in grass leys.

“Any new reseed with clover in the mix or overseeding a ley with clover is eligible for an annual payment of £102 a hectare under the new SFI action NUM2 (Legumes on improved grassland),” says Mr Spence.

“This more than pays for the seed, and it brings all the benefits in soil health, nitrogen fixing and feed value. And in mid-summer, the clover provides good feed value when perennial ryegrass growth slows down.”

A lot of focus is also being placed on multispecies leys, with sustainability schemes encouraging dairy farmers to integrate them into their systems. “There are payments available under the new SFI scheme for sowing multispecies leys which will be worth investigating in the forage planning for 2024.

“There is a lot of considerations and it’s worth having an open mind to new ideas and options.”




For more info on forage options to suit your farm business, click here or download the LG Essential Guide to Forage Crops

Sowing a forage crop and taking a “cereal break” is a win-win!

Give the arable crop rotation a break and sow a forage crop this autumn, to help achieve better weed control and boost home grown feed supplies. Mixed cereal and livestock units are encouraged to think about growing forages on some of their arable land, as this will help weed control by breaking the life cycles of some damaging weeds and diseases.

Forage crops – and any grazing livestock – add organic matter to the soils, which is especially valuable in nutrient depleted soils. Soil structure and condition warrants attention on many arable units, and rotations that include forage crops are more sustainable in the long run.

Forage crops, such as; fast-growing brassica and root crops, and short-term grass leys, can be sown post-harvest to give a much-needed break in the cereal rotation, as well as providing a valuable feed crop.

Roots and brassicas can be grazed-off ahead of a spring drilled cereal crop, or ahead of a grass reseed. Leaving a grass ley down for two to three years will also help break the blackgrass cycle.

Interval Rape Kale Hybrid

There are plenty of high feed value varieties to choose, that can improve livestock growth rates and performance.

Our recommendations are:

Samson stubble turnip – for grazing October onwards
Interval rape-kale hybrid – high protein leafy forage
Meatmaker and Autumn Keep brassica mixtures – contain stubble turnips, forage rape and Kale. The high protein content of both forage rape and Kale complements the high energy stubble turnip bulbs to provide an excellent, well balanced winter feed.

Kale shows its potential on Scottish units

Winter hardiness is just one attribute that makes kale an attractive forage crop for cattle producers, according to Limagrain UK’s Scotland-based seed sales specialist John Heaphy

He’s seen great success with overwintering cattle on Scottish units and, more recently, new varieties that have softer and more digestible stems have further improved the feed value and utilisation of the crop. John Heaphy“Poor stem quality has limited the feed value of forage kales in the past and could have accounted for between 60% and 70% of total crop yield,” says Mr Heaphy. “But new varieties have been bred for improved stem digestibility that supports better feed value.”

He adds that, in the past, farmers could face a bit of a dilemma. “A well-grazed kale crop shows good utilisation, but liveweight gain could be limited as the feed value in this stem is poor. But if a proportion of the stem is left, liveweight gains are better but crop utilisation is poor.” Marrow stem kales, like Limagrain UK’s Bombardier, which are highly digestible and have improved dry matter yields and utilisation potential, can overcome this dilemma. “Farmers like to see fields grazed clean and cattle perform well,” says John. “Many farmers are delighted with these new kale varieties.”

Bombardier was introduced in 2018. In trials it showed a digestibility of 72% and a relative dry matter of 18% above the control – worth an extra 1.74 tonnes per hectare. He explains that kale is best drilled in May or early June at a seed rate of 5kg per hectare. Farmers are encouraged to opt for varieties that are club-root tolerant and where a seed treatment can be applied.

A fine-seed bed is also important, to help the crop germinate, establish and achieve good ground cover as quickly as possible. “The sooner the crop gets to the ‘rough-leaf’ stage, the less prone it is to pest damage, predominantly from flea beetle and pigeons,” he says. He adds that kale is proving popular because it helps to reduce the costs of production on Scottish beef units, as well as offering a break crop on units that may also grow cereals in their rotation.

“But the big attraction is its high yields. Average dry matter yields for kale are twice that of stubble turnip crops and it’s also ready for grazing from late October.” Bob Howat, suckler beef producer, Fife - BombardierOne Fife-based suckler beef producer has been growing kale, on and off, for the past 20 years and has consistently grown the crop on his unit since 2011.

Bob Howat overwinters half of his 150 Saler cross cows on kale, at his 500-acre (202-hectare) unit, based between Cupar and St Andrews, which is also home to 1,000 breeding ewes. The farm is predominantly grass, for grazing and silaging; but also grows barley, for cattle feed and kale, for overwintering suckler cows. “Kale’s large leaves and stems are ideal for grazing cattle and it’s ready at a time of year when we need it,” he says, adding that he sees dry matter yields of at least 10 tonnes per hectare.

“And nothing is wasted either. Leaf, stem – it’s all eaten. And the cows look well on it too.” Bob grows 5.5 hectares (14 acres) of Limagrain kale varieties Bombardier and Grampian – a variety bred at the James Hutton Institute– a 50:50 split – each year, which is supplied by East Linton-based Watson Seeds. The crop follows grass – Bob selects a ‘tired’ ley that’s also on a suitable and relatively free-draining site. And he says that seedbed preparation is key to success.

“Achieving good establishment and fast early growth is vital,” says Bob. “Once the crop has grown to the rough-leaf stage and good ground cover has been achieved, it looks after itself. So I give it plenty of attention early on.” He drills the kale, in early May, into a fine seed bed, created by first rotovating the old ley, ploughing and then power harrowing. “We may make two passes with the power harrow if the seed bed isn’t quite fine enough. It’s well worth the effort to achieve the ideal tilth. And after sowing, to improve soil-to-seed contact, we’ll make a pass with a roller.

So far, so good. But Bob says there are two more hurdles or ‘problems’ he must look out for and quickly tackle to ensure the crop’s success. “The first is flea beetle. We keep a close eye out for it and if we see if, we spray straight away. It’s important to control this pest as it can significantly check growth and yield.”

The second challenge faced by the crop is pigeon damage. “Pigeons really like young kale plants. So we use bird scarers until the crop is a little more robust. Once good ground cover has been achieved, and the pigeons can’t see space to land, they lose interest in it.” Bob applies 80 units of liquid nitrogen with the bulk of it put on post emergence, once he can see rows started to emerge, and a second dressing when he can still see space between the rows, just prior to total ground coverage. “Once we get to a good ground cover stage, we know that we can close the gate and walk away, until it’s time to graze it in the autumn.

The crop really does look after itself.” He says that when he goes in with the electric fencing in October, he’s always pleased to see how well and how consistently it’s grown. “We aim for chest height – we’re happy with that.” Cows are strip grazed on the kale and the fence is moved every 12 hours. As nothing else is fed to this block, except some big bales of straw sitting on a trailer on a hard standing, Bob saves on the cost of grass silage and home-grown rolled barley, as well as the additional labour required to feed housed cattle.

“I don’t know what we did in 2020, but some plants stood six feet high and the entire crop – both varieties – yielded better than usual. We grazed 83 cows on it, 10 more than usual, from late October to late January. This was an extra two weeks compared to a more typical year. “The bigger the yield, the more we save on other feed costs,” adds Bob. “And if I get the crop off to a good start, it’ll be trouble-free during the growing season.”

Spring-sown fodder crops meet the challenges

A dry autumn and limited grass growth, coupled with high bought-in feed prices, are making dairy producers consider how best they can increase output from their forage-growing area

A dry autumn and limited grass growth, coupled with high bought-in feed prices, are making dairy producers consider how best they can increase output from their forage-growing area. Limagrain UK’s John Spence suggests throwing the net a bit wider and looking at some high-feed-value spring-sown crops.

“These include kale rape hybrids, new bounce-back brassicas, and fodder beet,” he says, adding they can all provide a high-feed-value crop and give the grass rotation a valuable break.

“The starting point, when it comes to crop planning in spring, is deciding which grass swards need attention, as on most dairy farms this is the staple crop.”

A good first cut of grass silage, taken in the first two weeks of May from a high yielding conservation ley, should yield six tonnes of dry matter per hectare.

Limagrain published data from grass-seed-mixture trials across four consecutive years, from 2017 to 2020, which showed at least this level of yield in commercially available conservation mixtures. But, regardless of mixture, yield and quality declined year-on-year.

“Overall we recorded a reduction in yield of five tonnes of dry matter per hectare from the peak in year one to year four, representing a 40% drop,” says Mr Spence. “Five tonnes of dry matter would provide the energy to produce £3,280-worth of milk, based on a milk price of 30ppl.

“Estimated reseeding costs are between £430 and £700 per hectare, so it offers a clear return on investment. So putting up with poor grass is a false economy.”

A spring or summer sown forage crop can be a useful circuit breaker between grass crops for grassland pests, particularly in the light of the pesticide ban on grassland.

And these fast-growing, high-yielding forages, such as a forage brassica crop, for grazing in mid to late summer when grass gets short, are appealing on many farms.”

Hybrid brassicas and forage rape are sown from May until July. They grow fast and are typically ready to graze in between 12 and 14 weeks.

“These crops have deep roots, so they’re ideal if it’s dry – the sort of conditions we’re seeing more often. And they’re typically grazed in situ, so nutrients and organic matter are returned to the land which boosts soil fertility.”

Feed value is good too, particularly if high-value varieties are used. In Limagrain field trials, where a wide range of commercially available, rape/kale hybrids were compared, with the highest relative dry matter crops, Unicorn and Interval, yielding 11% and 17%respectively,above the control, and offering top scores for mildew resistance too.

Kale crops can also be sown across a few months too, and they u provide an additional forage crop into autumn and winter. Like all brassicas, it has a high protein content, but it will outyield the hybrids. Kale is a relatively economical to grow.

Another good spring-sown crop, which can withstand drought and provide a summer forage supplement for dairy cattle, is the unique bounce-back brassica Skyfall. “Already very successful in sheep systems, it is gaining momentum for dairy and beef systems,” says Mr Spence

Like rape kale hybrids, it’s got a wide sowing window from May to July and is ready to graze within 12 weeks. “It has large strap leaves, which look like stubble turnip leaves, and roots that are deep and elongated – more like a forage rape root – which promotes the crop’s regrowth and drought tolerance.

“After grazing, the crop is then closed up for four weeks to enable the re-growth before grazing again. We’ve seen three grazing rounds from each crop, with earlier sown crops showing the most bounce-back potential.”

At the end of summer, once these crops are grazed off, the land can be ploughed, and a grass or winter cereal crop sown. Or the land can be left for reseeding until the following spring to ensure a break in the pest cycle.

Fodder beet is another spring-sown crop with very high feed value. Alongside maize, it is energy rich and provides a palatable ‘powerhouse’ in dairy rations.

While Mr Spence suggests light to medium free-draining soils are most suited to growing fodder beet, it will thrive on a wide range of soil types. “It’s a crop that that is well suited to the UK climate. It will produce consistent yields in wet or dry conditions, so our drier summers are not too much of a threat to this crop,” he says.

For the past five years Limagrain has been exporting fodder beet seed to New Zealand for grazing dairy cattle – both milkers and young stock. “It’s taken off among their milk producers, who graze the crop in situ. They use the same varieties as we grow here and, as in the UK, the maritime climate suits the crop.

“But consider the land type first for out wintering grazing systems. Heavy, wet land can make moving fences daily, or every few days, hard work. But where it will work, producers can place fresh silage bales at the end of rows and create a sort of ‘in situ’ TMR and we see cattle thrive on this diet.”

Areas where beet lifting equipment is available lend themselves to using the crop in TMR systems. It can be lifted and clamped and used through winter.

Varieties with medium dry matters, with 60% of the root out of the ground are best suited to dairy systems, either for using in the TMR or for grazing. Popular varieties in dairy systems are Robbos or Blaze.

“There are some very good options for spring sown forages,” adds Mr Spence. “I would encourage some research and looking at the suitability of each crop for the own farm and system, and also to be discerning in the choice of variety for each crop.

“There’s been significant progress in feed value between varieties and some modern choices boast much better feed values, which will be welcome news for many producers looking to maintain or improve cost of milk production.”

Yield and feed value based on Limagrain field trials, * Combined yield over four cuts

Fodder crop menu for finishing lambs

What choices are there for sheep producers who want to mitigate the risk of a grass shortage and have a fresh high feed value forage to hand when finishing lambs later this year?

What choices are there for sheep producers who want to mitigate the risk of a grass shortage and have a fresh high feed value forage to hand when finishing lambs later this year? According to Limagrain’s Martin Titley, there are plenty of options.

And not only do they offer a low-cost forage option, but they can also provide a break crop after grass leys or cereals.

“There are a number of good fodder crops that arable or mixed farms could consider this spring, instead of sowing cereals,” says Mr Titley. “A lot of arable units are facing big acreages for spring crops. Sowing a break crop on some fields might not be a bad option; maybe where there’s been a blackgrass problem or as an option to break the disease cycle.

Stubble Turnips

Stubble turnips are an ‘old favourite’ and lost popularity as rotations changed and other options became more fashionable. But they’re now back in favour. “Arable and sheep producers alike recognise that they suit practically any sheep production system – they’re incredible versatile,” says Mr Titley.

He says that the real attraction for this crop is that it’s fast growing and for some the flexible sowing time is attractive. It can be sown in May and June, after first-cut silage, to get a bite in early August and September. “This is good on units where grazing can burn off later in the season. It acts as an ‘insurance’ crop against a dry summer and allows producers to finish lambs on a low-cost forage crop.”

Most stubble turnip crops are sown after cereal harvest – at the end of July or beginning of August – and are then ready for grazing between 12 and 14 weeks later.

“They’re ideal for plugging the forage gap between September and the end of December,” he says, adding that this year, being very mild, farmers have grazed them well into February. “This isn’t the norm though and can’t be taken for granted.”

For the latest Stubble Turnip Trial Results from our UK Trials, click here.

Forage Rape Hybrids

Forage rape and hybrids -which are typically a cross between rape and kale – are becoming a ‘go to’ choice for finishing lambs.

“These forage rape brassicas are particularly popular because of their flexible sowing dates,” adds Mr Titley. “They can be sown from May until late August and used as summer grazing or sown into winter barley stubble in late July.

An easy to grow crop also makes these hybrid brassicas popular. They benefit from farmyard manure or slurry pre sowing, or an application of 60kg to 90kg of nitrogen with 25kg each of potassium and phosphate per hectare.

“And they’re fast-growing so ready to graze in 12 to 14 weeks. Sown in May, they give a bite at the end of August or early September which is ideal for finishing lambs on many farms.”

But the crop can be used across winter too and will keep its leafiness in colder conditions. “Forage rape and the hybrid crops are winter hardy and are capable of carrying stock well into February and even early March. But it must be grazed before flowering as once it starts to flower, it loses its nutritional value.”

Modern rape kale hybrids offer high feed values. “Take one of the latest, Unicorn, launched in 2019. This fast-growing leafy catch crop offers energy values of 11 MJ per kilogramme of dry matter, producing 49,438 MJ per hectare, and a dry matter content of 12.4%. This is a lot of feed value from 12 to 14 weeks of growth.”

For the latest Forage Rape Trial Results from our UK Trials, click here.


A Good Mix

Both stubble turnips and forage rape hybrids provide a good break, helping to build fertility back into the soil and to control both broadleaved and grass weeds. They can be followed with a spring grass reseed or a spring cereal crop.

“A mix of the two in one cropping is popular too,” he adds. The stubble turnip ‘bulbs’ provide a high energy crop, whereas the brassica hybrids, such a forage rape, pack a protein punch. This offers a more balanced forage mix in one crop.

“In freezing and snowy conditions, the forage rape ‘stands up’ and creates a canopy over the stubble turnips which generally keeps them fresher for longer.”

Mr Titley says that the popularity of swedes is declining as more producers discover the benefits of stubble turnips and forage rape. “But we’re still seeing the old favourite swede variety; Invitation and our Massif traditional turnip take their well-earned place on some sheep units.

“These crops grow well in autumn so they’re ideal where cereal harvest is later; which is often why we see them grown in Scotland. They provide a high energy, high dry matter winter feed that can be grazed from the end of November through to February with relatively low production costs.”

Herbal Leys

Herbal leys are getting more popular for grazing sheep and finishing lambs. The perennial mixtures typically persist for three or four years and comprise species including chicory and plantain, as well as traditional grasses such as meadow fescue and sainfoin.

“The species are deep rooting and they continue to thrive in dry conditions – either during drought or towards the back-end of the grazing season, when grass may be struggling,” says Mr Titley.

These mixtures really come into their own on chalky, light and free-draining soils. They’re also rich in minerals, compared to other forage crops.

Sheep farmers on or close to EFA land, which is now subject to the ‘greening’ rules, cannot leave land fallow during the winter – a green cover crop must be sown and must remain in place until January 12 each year.

“A mixture of forage rye Humbolt and vetch, which can be sown as late as September, is a good option,” says Mr Titley. “It’s a reliable feed for both ewes and finishing lambs to graze, up until April, if required.”

He adds that herbal leys are becoming more predominant in arable farming areas. “Sheep and arable farmers can work together on this. There are also soil health and fertility benefits to be had by arable producers who graze livestock on a proportion of their land each year.”

The LG Essential Guide to Forage Crops


More Information

For more information on any of these crops, download the LG Essential Guide to Forage Crops, click the link below


LG Essential Guide to Forage Crops

Last Call for Sowing New High Yielding Forage Kales

Livestock producers looking for a high yielding forage that offers good feed value and a flexible feeding period should sow a crop of forage kale. And, says Limagrain’s forage crop director Martin Titley, opting for the latest variety Bombardier can help tip the scales in favour of improved digestibility and feed value.


“It’s the second season in the UK for Bombardier and it was highly successful in trials and on farm in 2018,” he says. “Sown up to mid-July, it survived in dry conditions and provided a high feed value grazing crop in autumn through to the end of January.”

Results from Limagrain’s innovation site in Lincolnshire showed fresh weight yields of 80 tonnes per hectare and nine to 11 tonnes of dry matter per hectare. Dry matter content was 13.5% and digestibility of 72.2%.

“The relative dry matter yield for this new variety was 18% above the control variety, that’s 1.74 tonnes more from each hectare –  a real boost for forage stocks.”

Bombardier has been bred for improved stem and leaf utilisation, and this has provided a higher feed value crop. Poor stem quality, that may have been 60% to 70% of the total yield, has held back the feed value of forage kale. The softer and more digestible stems seen in these new varieties bring improved feed value and utilisation of the crop.

“In the past, farmers have faced a bit of a dilemma when it comes to kale,” adds Mr Titley. “If the kale crop is grazed well, then crop utilisation is good, but the poor feed value in the stem will limit liveweight gain. A less well-grazed crop, where a proportion of the stem is left, will achieve better liveweight gains but poorer crop utilisation.

“Marrow stem kales like Bombardier are highly digestible and have improved dry matter yields and utilisation potential, can overcome this dilemma.”

Kale should be drilled in spring and before mid-July at a seed rate of 5kg per hectare, and growers are encouraged to opt for varieties that are club root tolerant and where the seed can be supplied with a fungicide seed treatment.

“The great benefit of a kale crop is its flexibility,” says Mr Titley. “It can be used any time from September to February, so it is ideal for outwintering production systems and it is a popular choice for dairy young stock, beef cattle and sheep.”


Kale – the facts:

Sowing rate            4-5kg/ha

Growing costs         £496/ha

Dry matter              9-11t/ha

Crude protein          16-17%

ME                         10-11kg DM