Both cows and sheep should be introduced to the crop gradually. A dairy cow will eat approx. 22kg of fresh weight per two to three hour grazing period. A ewe will eat about 12kg fresh weight/day. An average crop of 15T/Acre will provide one day’s grazing for 500 cows or 1,000 ewes (allowing for some wastage). Watch out for stubble turnips tainting milk. Feed directly after milking and remove two to three hours before milking.
Vollenda’s fast establishment, large bulb and excellent palatability, make it the number one choice. It has a high resistance to bolting and has good resistance to clubroot and alternaria. Its early vigour makes it an ideal variety to sow in May (for August utilisation) and August (for winter utilisation). It has good winter hardiness, which will keep it palatable until just after the Christmas period.
Delilah is a white skinned variety which produces large tankard shape bulbs. It is high yielding, making it ideal for fattening lambs. Delilah has excellent digestibility and good resistance to mildew.
Samson is a tetraploid variety, that produces a huge purple tankard shape bulb. It is highly digestible so it is ideal for fattening lambs or flushing ewes, providing excellent quality forage. Its large tankard roots will grow out of the ground. Yields are very similar to Vollenda.
Skyfall is a new Hybrid brassica, bred to provide a palatable leafy feed which can be fed either in the summer, when grass growth might be limited, or sown later, to enable the crop to be grazed in the autumn or winter months.
Tyfon is generally sown in the spring and can be utilised in the summer months by cattle and sheep, when grass growth is declining. Its rapid growth habit means that it can be utilised in only 60 days and, once grazed, there is potential for re-growth. Tyfon has a very small bulb with a large leaf, which will produce a palatable summer feed. After the plant is 12 weeks old, it is very susceptible to mildew and alternaria. Tyfon is susceptible to bolting so do not sow too early.
Mark & Jen Hansford, South Farm, Sherborne, Dorset
“We out winter the majority of our Angus beef herd on stubble turnips over a total of 33 acres, so we need a high yielding easy to grow variety that help keep the cattle growing through the winter months.
For many years, we have used the same variety. However, after browsing the Wynnstay catalogue, we decided to try Vollenda as it sounded like it could be an improvement.
Clive Bethell gave us some advice on how to achieve the best from them and we have certainly not been disappointed. The seed was rapidly germinating within days of sowing and required no treatment or special care - we just left them to it!
The turnips have stood up well to all weathers and the cattle have found them very palatable. The quality of the turnip and its greenery is far superior to the previous variety we used. We are very pleased and will definitely be using them again this year after such success!”