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Looking For High Protein in Your Summer Mix? Consider Brassicas

By   /  June 15, 2015  /  3 Comments

Turnips and radishes with 24% protein make a great addition to summer grasses. Here’s how to graze them once you’ve got them

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A common question at summer annual planting time is which legume is best to add some protein to summ
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About the author

Genevieve provides forage and cover crop research and marketing support for King's AgriSeeds Inc. in Lancaster County, PA. She has also worked on organic vegetable farms and as an intern in agricultural field trials at the Rodale Institute.


  1. Gene Schriefer says:

    Grazing pure brassica’s for long periods of time can induce goiter, iodine deficiency, providing iodized salt is important.

    Pure stands also run the risk of off flavors in milk.

    Short season varieties show strong cool season growth in fall, and will continue to accumulate dry matter well into the mid 20’s and hold their quality even under snow.

    Seeding in early to mid august in a cocktail mixture with forage oats and a cold hardy pea can provide 3 tons of exceptional quality feed late in the season. with the grass (oats) there is no need to time limit grazing.

    • Kathy Voth says:

      Pure stands of any forage are never a good idea, so good point on mixing brassicas with other forages, Gene. There is research, which I need to find again, that showed no change in milk flavor from grazing brassicas. Perhaps it was a mixture issue? I’ll see if I can find it again.

      • Paul Sharpe says:

        I once successfully grew crops of marrowstem kale and fodder rape at 47 degrees North latitude (“northern” Ontario) and allowed sheep to strip graze it until the snow got too deep in December. Most of the grazing was in November and it extended the grazing season by about six weeks. To prevent bloat, a round bale of grass hay was always available. To prevent foot problems in the clay soil, a grass sod strip was available. The amount of pre-plant tillage and weed control was expensive. Using a field already destined for rotation to another purpose or using a no-till drill could improve profit potential.

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