Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
Beef produces will have two opportunities to view extended grazing programs intended to improve feed quality, quantity and reduce feed cost at one of two pasture walks scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30th. Turnips are an excellent source of energy and protein. Turnips strip grazed with corn stalks provide highly nutritious economical feed for gestating cows.
Cattlemen have been taking advantage of small grain stubble for several years by seeding turnips into wheat or oats. Turnips seeded July 15 through August 15, for a cost of less than $6 seed per acre, give the highest yields.
Turnips can provide unsurpassed grazing quality and quantity. They are high in TDN. And for this reason, managed grazing is recommended. Allowing cattle access to a limited quantity via electric fence will reduce any potential digestive problems and increase harvest efficiency.
The Dean and David Dedert farm has been using turnips for about 5 years. This year they also will show their vetch/rye seeding that will be grazed as well. They have found the use of turnips to be very economical behind their oat fields. They harvest the oat grain, allow volunteer oat seed to germinate and bale it, then seed the turnips. Their field is located 1 mile west of I-72 on Rt. 24. Turn into the field road on the south side of Rt. 24. The pasture walk will begin at 9:30am.
The Glen and Alan Koch farm has also been using turnips for several years. They will sow turnips in wheat stubble as well as behind corn silage. They've had some success in aerial seeding as well. In addition, we will also view some stockpiled fescue they will graze during winter months. Stockpiled tall fescue is no doubt the most economical winter feed other than corn crop residue. Participants will meet at Bob Koch farm, located about 3 miles north of Rt. 24, on Co. Rd. 600 East. The pasture walk will begin at 1:30pm.