Grazing turnips

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May 3, 2014
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I have 150 acres that I planted to corn this year, normally I would disk the stalks heavy and drill wheat for grazing in the winter. This year I'm thinking about broadcasting the turnip seed mixed with the fertalizer right into the stalks. I would plan to wait until a good rain is forecasted. Will this work? I have never broadcasted turnips on top of the ground before. How is the feed quality of turnips? Can it make the unborn calf get big like wheat can occasionally ? This year I let the cows graze the wheat continually most of the spring due to the extreme lack of grass we have. Majority of the calving is done fed- march. Some of the later calves born this spring were bigger than I want, and I blame it on the wheat. I will strip graze the turnips, so I can control the intake somewhat.
If you get a rain, the turnips should come up if you sow early enough. You may want to aerial seed them in August or early September to get a good start. I would probably set out some hay too, just to make sure they get enough roughage.

Where are you located?
Se Kansas. Typically the corn comes off first part of September. Any fields I plan to graze in the fall, I will make sure to plant them to short season corn. 97 day this year
plant some mix in there.. cows will bloat on turnips alone.

i'd aerial in ryegrass and turnips. you'll have to kill the ryegrass in the spring though.
We always mix in a little turnip seed but not to much. They come up very well just broadcast.
Good for hitting bare spots in oats/wheat.

My only knock against grazing them is they don't hold up well. Just a one pass deal.
I won't graze bred heifers on them. Just cows, and maybe some weaned heifers that I will breed early spring. I had issues with big calves this year after running the cows on the wheat continually is why I am concerned
My only knock against grazing them is they don't hold up well. Just a one pass deal.
Been my experience too. Maybe a quick on/off then on again rotation would help if rain comes in between, but the area we planted last year was a one shot thing. Sure ate them down to the dirt tho.
You think 100 cows will mow down 150 acres very quickly? I was hoping to be able to stock it a little heavier than that. I will strip graze them very often. I read an article that a guy said he grazed 50 head on 8 acres for 100 days. Doesn't seem possible to me, but that's sure what he said. The cows will all be dry, I have noticed that helps slightly with consumption. Again, I plan to plant into standing corn stalks so that will provide a little bit of forage depending on how much rain it gets on the leaves and such
I have grazed turnips in a mix. Once my cows figured out they were edible they stayed after them until they were gone.
I would agree with Callmefence that a mix should be planted. I also add radishes, crimson clover, and annual Italian rye grass. I haven't had much success dropping cereal grains on the surface. Your in a much different area and I would recommend seeking advice from NRCS.
I know some people who used turnips on irrigated ground behind sweet corn. It worked good, they ran cows at first but their sandy soil hung on to the turnip which was hard on the cows teeth. They switched to grazing steers on the turnips. A steer's teeth are not going to wear out before he takes a trip to the kill plant.

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