Swedes are an excellent high energy winter feed. They are a winter hardy crop that can produce high dry matter yields in cooler regions. Swedes are superior to turnips for frost hardiness and keeping quality, and so are often sown in upland areas. Most fodder swede crops are grazed in situ. It is advisable to use an electric fence to reduce wastage.
Swedes are low in protein and roughage and should be fed alongside silage or hay. Ensure sufficient minerals are being fed and clostridial vaccinations are used where needed.
Sowing time: April - June
Sowing rate: 350g-850g/ha (150g-350g/acre) Grade H
Direct drill: 3kg/ha (1kg/acre), Natural seed
Broadcast :5kg/ha (2kg/acre), Natural seed
YIELD & FEED QUALITY
Average DM yield: 8 - 10 tonne DM/ha
Dry Matter: 10 - 12%
Crude protein: 9 - 11% (leaves)
Digestibility: 70 – 75% (D value)
Metabolisable energy: 12.5 – 13 Mj/kg DM