Forage Turnip and Rape
As fall-seeded Brassicas, turnips and rapeseed offer the benefit of weed suppression in the following crop with quick decomposition after being turned under. Turnip and rape grow quickly and are good at reducing surface compaction while providing winter cover and fall weed suppression.
Smooth, weed-free seedbed, well-drained with enough moisture.
TurnipsDrill 4-7 lb/ac, 1/2 inch deep. Broadcast 10-12 lb/ac on firm seedbed, cover 1/2 – 3/4 inches. Use the higher rate if fall weed suppression is the goal.
RapeDrill 5-10 lb/ac, less than 3/4 inches deep. Broadcast 8-14 lb/ac. Cover up to 1 inch. Seed can be no-tilled into suppressed sod or seeded into a conventionally prepared seedbed. Till as necessary to kill the first flush of weeds to ensure a weed free seedbed. After seeding, roll the ground to improve seed-to-soil contact but do not break up soil aggregates.
2007 price: $2.00-$5.00/lb
Time Until Control
Ernst Conservation Seed, AMPAC Seed Company. Appin turnip winterkills reliably if sown by August 25. Pasja and Bonar rapeseed may have incomplete winter kill and require control in the spring.
Roll or drag the ground after planting to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
Harbor brassica diseases: do not use in rotations with brassicas.
Slow to establish, prepare a smooth, weed free seed bed. May suppress cucurbit crops that follow.
Break up compaction, low residue in spring.
Avoid wet spots.
Incorporate in spring, any time before full flowering.
These cover crops can harbor Brassica disease; do not use in rotation with Brassicas. Useful for suppressing Sclerotinia in lettuce.
|Management Goal||Planting Time|
|Nitrogen Scavenging||Late Summer|
|Reduce Surface Hardness||Late Summer|
|Reduce Weeds||Late Summer|
|Winter Erosion Protection||Late Summer|