www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

McDonald’s of WaKeeney invests in library -9/18/2014, 5:45 PM

State receives $3.5 million grant to reduce infant mortality -9/18/2014, 3:00 PM

Kansas highway system ranked 5th in national report -9/18/2014, 11:51 AM

Dixon joins FHSU with social media marketing as her mission -9/18/2014, 11:15 AM

In case of emergency, prepare a grab-and-go kit -9/18/2014, 9:08 AM

Birthday -9/18/2014, 9:07 AM

Association donates 105 car seats to KHP -9/18/2014, 4:50 PM

Kansas receives CDC funding to gather data -9/17/2014, 4:14 PM

Brownback orders flags lowered -9/17/2014, 11:08 AM

Life during retirement is still plenty busy -9/17/2014, 8:51 AM

Generations briefs (Sept. 17, 2014) -9/17/2014, 8:50 AM

'No Good Deed?' More like, 'No good, dude' -9/16/2014, 9:38 PM

Delta Zeta Turtle Tug: Tug your heart out -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art hosts exhibitions throughout the year -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moran names service academy selection board -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Department of Informatics offers a new concentration in health informatics -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Magician on this season's 'America's Got Talent' will perform on the FHSU campus -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Parenting adolescents takes many twists, turns -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

-9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Capital investments for cow-calf enterprises in profitable times -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Business briefcase (Sept. 14, 2014) -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Stork club -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

The Paradox of the cross -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Local celebs to get behind wheels of race cars -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Make and take a pizza for family meal -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Children's center hosting events in October -9/9/2014, 5:03 PM

NKAVI meeting Saturday -9/8/2014, 2:34 PM

During September, pay it forward by giving blood -9/8/2014, 4:54 PM

Ribbon cut on K-23 project north of Hoxie -9/8/2014, 11:46 AM

AG Schmidt to visit western Kansas -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Kansans invited to come to statewide transportation meetings -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Pilot projects to launch Kanstarter -9/8/2014, 11:28 AM

Parenting adolescents starts when they are younger -9/8/2014, 9:11 AM

Clubs and meetings -9/7/2014, 3:59 PM

NSP elects officers -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Busting myths about ticks in the U.S. -- Part II -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 7, 2014) -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Kansas Lottery launches new 'Frogger' game -9/5/2014, 10:26 AM

Dealing with mental illness -9/5/2014, 8:52 AM

Schodorf points to discrepancy in U.S. Senate ruling -9/4/2014, 4:58 PM

Kansas Emergency Preparedness Day is Monday -9/4/2014, 2:59 PM

Guidebook, videos offer convenient information for travel planning -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

State treasurer announces $1K giveaway at state fair -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

Extension series brings knowledge -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

FHSU's Career Services hosts its 27th annual Career-Internship Day -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Discuss watering tips for the drought during Science Cafe -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Tigers in Service, Hays Rotary Club host 4th annual Paint-A-Thon -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

FHSU's online degree program earns national recognition -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Massage therapy training now offered through Department of Health and Human Performance -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

5th-graders will take a field trip to Forsyth Library -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Local grocery store partners with FHSU to donate food items -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

FHSU alumnus accepted into the 2015 NCECA exhibition -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Dedication ceremony for K-161 in Bird City planned -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Local students awarded degrees from FHSU -9/3/2014, 1:44 PM

Estes brings unclaimed property to state fair -9/3/2014, 11:01 AM

Awards announced for Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Mini-Grants -9/3/2014, 11:01 AM

Delving into the past to discover language barriers -9/3/2014, 8:28 AM

KDOT announces approved August bids -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

'The November Man' brings an end to summer -9/2/2014, 10:37 AM

A busy weekend full of family, food, fun for Yoders -9/2/2014, 8:48 AM

Public record, Aug. 29, 2014 -8/29/2014, 8:23 PM

The storm is a moment of grace -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

6th annual majors, graduate programs fair coming this fall -8/27/2014, 10:15 AM

State receives USDA training grants to help schools -8/27/2014, 10:24 AM

Forsyth Library gets new leader -8/27/2014, 10:15 AM

FHSU Management Development Center schedules 4 fall workshops -8/27/2014, 10:15 AM

Patent issued for research that alleviates pain in cattle -8/27/2014, 8:22 PM

Thanking God for teachers -8/27/2014, 8:22 AM

Bowers selected as 2014 CSG Toll Fellow -8/26/2014, 2:04 PM

Water vision draft survey developed -8/26/2014, 1:55 PM

Governor proclaims campus fire safety month -8/26/2014, 11:04 AM

Leadership class visits Kansas City -8/26/2014, 10:55 AM

Take KDOT along on your fall travels -8/26/2014, 10:45 AM

The meeting of boy and girl turns into husband and wife for Yoders -8/26/2014, 9:39 AM

Free screenings offered for children -8/25/2014, 10:55 AM

2014 survey shows motorists continue to pass stopped buses -8/25/2014, 10:55 AM

Authoritative parenting has pluses for adolescents -8/25/2014, 8:34 AM

What you see is (not) what you get -8/24/2014, 2:30 PM

Public record, Aug. 22, 2014 -8/22/2014, 6:53 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 24, 2014) -8/22/2014, 2:30 PM

The journey often is part of the gift -8/22/2014, 8:44 AM

Bucks rewarded to drivers who buckle up -8/21/2014, 10:55 AM

A look back at the early years -8/19/2014, 9:01 AM

Parenting adolescents through stages of life crucial -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Weed control on rangelands -- Part III -8/17/2014, 1:30 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 17, 2014) -8/17/2014, 1:30 PM

Church should help mentally ill -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Final 4-H recipe from Ellis County Fair is a winner -8/14/2014, 9:09 AM

Great Bend resident appointed Rotary District Governor -8/14/2014, 9:08 AM

Remembering the start of school back in the good ol' days -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is uninspiring -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

Actor, comedian Robin Williams dies at 63 in apparent suicide -8/11/2014, 8:38 PM

Adolescents' actions vary depending on parenting style -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

Clubs and meetings -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

Weed control on rangeland -- Part II -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

Business Briefcase (Aug. 10, 2014) -8/10/2014, 3:19 PM

HaysMed doctor named to school wall of honor -8/10/2014, 3:18 PM

Bringing children to Christ -8/8/2014, 7:54 AM

Learning to get along together -8/8/2014, 7:54 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Turnips could be fall, winter grazing solution

Published on -6/16/2013, 4:39 PM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

In writing this, I fully realize we are still in the midst of a drought and no one knows when it will end, so the idea I am putting forth might not seem plausible. On the other hand, if some timely rains fall, it could work. Planting turnips or a mix of turnips and radish into wheat or oat stubble for late fall and early winter grazing could yield some valuable fall forage and ease the burden on pastures and hay feeding.

Turnips are a high-quality, high-yielding, fast-growing crop particularly suitable for grazing by livestock. Turnips often have digestibility of 70 to 80 percent with crude protein from whole plants of 14 to 22 percent. Stocker cattle gains of 1.5 to 2.0 pounds per day have been recorded. Turnips are 85 to 90 percent water, so it is beneficial to have some dry hay, grass or stalks for roughage to the diet. Although cattle have performed well on grazing turnips alone, cattle also have done well when added in a mixture of cool season grass such as triticale, wheat or oats.

Turnip seed is inexpensive -- approximately $1.55 per pound -- and the ole "Purple Top" variety that has been planted in gardens for years seems to yield just as well as any others. Another brassica that might work equally as well is Dwarf Essex Rape, and it is cheaper -- approximately $1 per pound. Radish seed will be more expensive at $2.25 per pound. Bottom line is turnips or rape could provide some cheap fall and early winter grazing.

Planting a brassica such as turnip, radish, rape or kale for fall grazing would take place in late July through late August. When planted with a drill, just scratch the surface with your openers covering only slightly, and seed turnips at 2 to 4 pounds per acre.

Drilling it no-till into stubble might be the preferred planting method, given the current weather conditions. But if no-till is not an option, then broadcast 2 to 4 pounds of seed per acre and go over with a cultipacker or harrow. Covering the seed with more than 0.5 inch of soil will suppress emergence, and as always, plant into a weed-free seedbed. Good early weed control is essential. Turnips or any brassica do poorly if weeds get ahead of them, but once started, turnips compete well. Since no herbicides are labeled for turnips, weeds must be controlled either by tillage or by using contact herbicides before planting. Plant quickly to get them off and running.

Forage yields of turnips in Saline County on non-replicated farm strip plots in 2004 and 2005 averaged 4,800 pounds of dry matter per acre, this included the tops and bulbs. The turnips outyielded the other forages in the test being wheat, triticale, oats, canola, forage canola and forage peas. Eighty pounds of nitrogen preplant was applied. Taking a soil sample is recommended to determine the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus needed for your yield goal.

Turnips are ready to graze when plants are "rooted down" enough not to be pulled up. This could be 70 to 80 days after emergence and should be used by the time temperatures reach 18 to 20 degrees. Once leaves are all grazed, cattle will pull bulbs and eat them, choking on bulbs has been an extremely rare problem. Some use a field cultivator to lift bulbs to the surface after tops are grazed off, resulting in almost complete utilization of the plant.

Oats or triticale can be added to the mix, the oats probably would be best where you would fall graze only. Triticale would be best if you desire some late winter grazing as well, or both could be added to the turnips and radish. Cover crops are a hot topic among some no-tillers right now, and this could serve as a cover crop and provide some much needed forage.

If you add some triticale or oats with the brassicas, planting both at the correct depth becomes a challenge. Some folks run the brassicas on the surface just ahead of the packing wheels if they have a small seed box or the air seeders have two boxes.

Brassicas can be prone to having high levels of nitrates, especially if precipitation is limited. Before turning cattle out to graze, it always is recommended to get a forage nitrate test.

In Saline County where grazing plots were planted to single forage of either oats, triticale or turnips, the cattle ate the oats and triticale first before the turnips. If turnips are their only option, cattle will acclimate to it rapidly and do just fine, but it won't be their first choice probably due to the rougher leaves turnips have.

If this is your first time to try something like this, I would recommend planting a limited number of acres. More information on growing turnips can be found at www.ellis.ksu.edu.

And as always if you have further questions give your local County Extension Office a holler.

Stacy Campbell is agriculture Extension agent in Ellis County.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos