Turnips are a highly digestible catch crop, producing around 4 tonne DM/ha within 10-12 weeks from sowing. Stubble turnips are a cheap way of producing buffer feed and reducing winter feeding costs. Animals should be introduced to the crop gradually, and should always have access to water, as well as a roughage source such as silage or hay.
Although the dry matter content of the turnips is low the quality of the dry matter is very good. There are two types of stubble turnips available:
Bulbing types – these should produce large tankard shaped bulbs which grow out of the ground and are easily eaten. They tend to be of a lower dry matter.
Leafy types – these produce more leaf than bulb and have a slightly higher protein content and are ideal for summer and early autumn grazing.
SEEDBED & SOWING METHODS:
Stubble turnips are often sown in Autumn after cereals. For crops drilled into broken stubbles, sowing rates will vary from 2-3kg/acre depending on soil conditions and time of drilling. Seed which is broadcast should go in at no less than 3kg/acre.
Sowing time: July - August
Direct drill : 2-3 kg/acre
Broadcasting: 3-5 kg/acre
YIELD & FEED QUALITY
Average DM yield: 3-5 tonne DM/ha
Dry Matter: 8-9%
Crude protein: 16-18% (D value)
Digestibility: 66 - 70% (D value)
Metabolisable energy: 9.5 - 11 Mj/kg DM