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BOSCHHOEK 19.05.2011 JM1.JPG

Cattle Turnip

Mammoth Purple Top

The crop can be grown on a wide range of soils including sandy loams, silts peat or clay loams. The desirable soil properties needed are - ease of working, good aeration, good structure and sound drainage.

The majority of turnip crops are sown with precision drills which require a level seedbed. Drilling in spring or summer should be made with minimum cultivation passes to reduce compaction. Later drillings are often made in hot, dry conditions so try and undertake the seedbed cultivations in early spring to reduce moisture loss. Weeds can be eliminated between seedbed preparation.

There are a number of pests which attack the turnip crop from sowing through to maturity. In order to maximise crop establishment and minimise crop damage, it is advisable to sow treated seed. The major disease to watch for is clubroot which can affect the turnip root system. Attacks of mildew on leave will reduce yield and may affect the crops palatability during in-situ grazing.

Most fodder turnip crops are grazed in-situ, however it is important to remember to select a variety (or varieties) to cover the period you wish to graze. Stock should ideally have access to grass and/or hay during the feeding. Forage turnips can be lifted and the roots stored in a clamp. The roots need to be clean and free of soil and try not to store any damaged roots as this will encourage fungal diseases.

    -Grown in a wide range of soil types
    -Consult fertiliser expert
    -Sow treated seed
    -Can be sown with precision drills