For the Future of Farming

Selecting the Correct Forage Root Crop

Forage root crops provide a cost effective way of supplementing livestock rations during times when fodder may be scarce, dry spells in summers and the cold winter months. They can supply substantial quantities of palatable material at relatively low production costs, balancing the amount of bought in feed required.

Benefits of Forage Root Crops

• Valuable alternative source of home produced feed
• Produce high yields over a relatively short growing period
• Contribute substantial amounts of fresh fodder
• Cut feeding costs and fill feeding gaps
• Wide range of crops for dairy, beef and sheep
• Offer rotational benefits


For more information on each root crop, click the links in the table. 


  DM Yield T / Ha Fresh Yield T / Ha Crude Content %  Crude Protein % Met Energy MJ /Kg/DM
Fodder Beet 13-15 80-90 12-19 12-13 12.5-13.5

Forage Rape

3.5 24-35 12-14 19-20 10-11
Kale 8-10 60-65 14-16 16-17 10-11
Stubble Turnips 3.5-4 38-40 8-9 17-18 11
Turnips 5.5-6 60-70 8-10 15-17 10-11
Swedes 7-10 70-80 9-13 10-11 12.8-13.1

Many of the forages are grazed and utilised in the feld (grazed in situ). To get the best from the crops a few simple steps can make all the difference to maximising animal performance and proftability.
• Recommended inclusion rates should be between 35-60% of total dry matter intake.
• Access to straw or hay as well as forage brassica is important.
• Ensure a good water supply

Strip Grazing

Afbeelding: Swede

• Using an electric fence will help reduce wastage in the field
• Long narrow strips are best to allow full animal access
• Introduce the animals to the crop slowly
• Move the electric fence daily if possible
• Providing a dry run back will keep the animals clean

Selecting the Correct Forage Root Crop