Fodder crops

Fodder cropsHome grown fodder crops can play an important role on many farms.  Fodder crops can help to reduce the reliance on purchased feeds whilst providing good growth rates.  With the introduction of some new varieties our fodder crops offer feed potential from July to March.

Fodder beet seed

Blaze – a variety with the potential to produce excellent dry matter yields with very clean bright roots.  Blaze is a medium dry matter variety.  Good resistance to bolting and excellent establishment.

Feldherr – produces a huge fresh yield of low dry matter roots.  Feldherr is ideal for feeding to dairy cows but makes excellent feed for ewes that can handle the low dry matter roots.  Feldherr can be harvested but is an ideal grazing variety.

Jamon – gives a very high fresh root yield.  It is a yellow skinned variety with a medium dry matter.  Highly palatable beet and easily eaten by a wide range of stock.

Robbos – provides one of the highest dry matter yields in trials.  It has a clean, yellow root and medium dry matter content, making it an ideal choice for dairy and beef production.

Swede seed

Swedes provide excellent high energy feed for relatively low cost.  Varieties can be chosen to suit the desired autumn or winter grazing period.  Swedes are suitable for finishing lambs or for winter maintenance for ewes.


Maris kestral – a leafy hybrid with short stems that has been bred for low stem fibre content and hence high digestibility.  High proportion of leaf to stem.  It is resistant to lodging, has excellent frost resistance and hence winter hardiness.

Caledonian – very high yielding with extra winter hardiness.  Caledonian has club root resistance, which now enables growers to continually grow kale on club root infected sites.  Excellent when strip or zero grazed with dairy cows or beef cattle due to huge yields.  Caledonian is an improved marrow stem variety, which is excellent for game cover.

Keeper – ideal feed or game cover variety with excellent winter hardiness.  Keeper is medium or shorter type ideal for fattening lambs, and due to its canopy forming growth habit, excellent as part of a game mixture.

Stubble turnips (bulbing varieties)

Samson – can produce huge tankard shaped purple roots which are very palatable to both sheep and cattle.  In trials, Samson has shown to be preferentially grazed which can lead to higher intake and live weight gains.

Barkant – this variety has been a consistent performer, suitable for grazing with both sheep and cattle.  Barkant has good dry matter yields making it ideal for late season utilisation.

Delilah – has large white bulbs outperforming all varieties in terms of dry matter yields, it can be used for summer strip grazing, 12-14 weeks from sowing.  Alternatively, if sown into cereal stubbles it can provide quality autumn or winter keep for fattening lambs or ewes.  It is also resistant to mildew.

Stubble turnips (leafy varieties)

Rondo – suitable for cattle and sheep.  It has a very leafy habit with smaller bulb and excellent disease resistance.  Usually utilised between September and early February.  The round bulb gives good root anchorage helping to reduce wastage in the field.

Tyfon – a variety ideally suited for strip grazing by dairy or beef cattle during the summer, available 10 weeks from a June sowing.  Tyfon’s regrowth potential can be exploited after the initial grazing.  This variety should not be sown too early as it is prone to bolting.

Main crop turnip

Massif – has huge fleshed roots, combining very high dry matter yields and digestibility, being a real improvement over Green Globe turnips.  Massif has a high dry matter content which gives a good degree of winter hardiness.  Sow May to July.

Forage rape

A valuable feed especially for use in September to December, available 13-15 weeks from sowing.  This fast growing leafy catch crop is high in protein with average fresh yields of 12 tonnes per acre.  Forage rape can also be used for ploughing in as a green manure.