Forbs / Herbs
Crops such as plantain make a great addition to perennial grazing pastures. These forbs often persist several years and provide high levels of palatability and nutrition.
Chicory - is a forb type plant with a deep taproot makes it drought resistant. It is best used as a component in grazing pastures, increasing overall palatability and animal intake. Chicory is high in energy and protein (30% and higher) and very palatable. Chicory is suited to well drained soils with medium to high fertility and a pH of 5.5 or higher. It provides both spring and summer forage with very leafy, high- quality growth. With proper management it can have a 5-7 year life span with high forage quality. Spring seeding can be grazed after 80 to 100 days and can yield up to 3 tons per acre the year of establishment. A stubble height of 1.5-2 inches should be maintained after grazing. Following the seeding year, chicory will attempt to produce stems/seed in late spring and early summer. Stubble heights of greater than 1.5 inches or rest period longer than 25 days can allow stems to bolt. Seed 3-4 pounds per acre for pure stands or 1-2 pounds with grass mixtures and legumes.
Plantain - Plantain is a mineral rich perennial grazing herb. It is becoming an increasingly valuable pasture component for supply of minerals and dry matter production, particularly in drier regions and less fertile conditions. Plantain is a fast establishing species, and will be productive and persistent over a wide range of soils and climatic conditions. Pre-emergent weed control is important as plantain is susceptible to broadleaf herbicides after emergence. It is not recommended to sow plantain if a brassica crop is being used as a weed clean-up tool. Plantain is highly palatable and preferentially grazed. Plantain forage has a higher calcium, sodium and copper status than ryegrass
Crops such as turnip, radish, rape and kale can be spring-seeded with perennial cool-season pastures for summer production or summer-seeded to extend the grazing season in November and December. Brassicas are annual crops which are highly productive and digestible. They can be grazed 80-150 days after planting depending upon the species. Crude protein levels range from 15 to 25% in the leaves and 8 to 15% in turnip roots. Brassicas can be grazed when 12 inches tall, about 70-90 days after seeding. If a 5-inch stubble is maintained, several grazings may be possible. A yield of 3-4 ton of dry matter per acre can be achieved.
Risks: Brassica crops can cause health disorders such as bloat or nitrate poisoning if not managed properly. Animals should be full when they are introduced to brassica pastures and they should be turned onto them slowly. Avoid abrupt change from summer pasture to lush brassicas. The animal diet should not consist of more than 75% brassicas. Supplement with hay or grass.
Management: Within the Brassicas family, turnips are the quickest species to establish. Some species have the potential of being grazed multiple times. It is important not to graze too large of an area at once. Strip-grazing prevents both yield and quality losses due to tramping and polluting. Once established, brassicas can compete well with weeds. Some insect problems may develop such as aphids, flea beetles or cabbage worms. Brassicas should be planted no longer than 2 consecutive years to prevent disease and pest problems.
Planting: Brassicas require good soil drainage and a pH between 5.3 and 7.5. Seed should be planted in a firm, moist, seedbed. They can be broadcasted or drilled with 6 to 8 inch rows at 2-3 pounds per acre. It is very important not to plant the seed too deep; one eighth of an inch will work best.
Barkant Turnip - is a very vigorous diploid turnip variety with a purple tankard root type specifically bred for leaf production. The variety has a very good leaf and root yield with high sugar and dry-matter content. Ideally suited for grazing with sheep and cattle, it is common to obtain 4-6 tons of dry-matter per acre of this high-energy feed. Barkant is able to provide multiple harvests with the correct grazing management.
Purple Top Turnip - a commonly used forage and cover crop, purple tops produce leafy vegetative growth, as well as a large round bulb. Purple tops are well suited to aerial or broadcast application as a grain crop dries down, allowing them to start growing before grain harvest to maximize grazing.
Terranova - (Oilseed Radish)
Graza - (Forage Radish) is a unique smooth-leaved, low-crowned and late-flowering radish. It has smooth leaves, an ability to recover from multiple grazing and late-flowering habits. Graza's palatability, yield and quality under grazing compares with forage turnips. A big advantage over forage turnips Graza's persistence, with more grazing cycles. Graza can be utilized as a pure stand or in mixes with brassicas or pasture herbs in grazing systems. Seed 5-7 lb./A alone or less in a blend.
Dwarf Essex Rape
Hybrids & Others
Hunter hybrid (turnip x chinese cabbage) - is a cross between a turnip and Chinese cabbage with dry matter production in the leaf. Regrowth is exceptional through the fall. Three grazings are possible with the first 4-6 weeks after planting.
Winfred (kale x turnip) - is a cross between a turnip and kale. Winfred takes 8-10 weeks to mature and has regrowth potential for 3-4 grazings. With its deep tap root, Winfred is tolerent of dry conditions and can be sown in the spring or early fall. Winfred in the upper Midwest is best used as a standing stockpile feed for winter, planted in July. Over wintering may occur, but should not be counted upon.