The most recent trials, carried out on behalf of Limagrain UK and at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, show that the modern varieties Gowrie and Lomond gave an extra 18% and 11% dry matter yields respectively than the older variety Ruta Otofte that was used as the control. This can provide an extra tonne of dry matter per hectare.
Growing costs for swedes are estimated at £408 per hectare according to Limagrain’s Essential Guide to Forage Crops, making them one of the most cost effective crops to grow.
“Swedes are an under-estimated crop,” says Limagrain’s fodder crops manager Martin Titley. “They provide an ideal crop for winter grazing programmes and are highly successful for finishing lambs or for winter maintenance on sheep units.
“And these newer varieties, both bred by the James Hutton Institute and both with powdery mildew and club root resistance, re-inforce the value of swedes. Producers can now select varieties that, sown up to the end of June on a wide range of soils, can produce high dry matter yields – to the tune of seven to 10 tonnes per hectare.
The dry matter value of a crop of the recently introduced variety Gowrie, that is an ideal choice for grazing sheep over winter, is estimated at £1258/ha – significantly higher than the older varieties and certainly worthy of consideration for producers looking for cost-effective and high yielding winter feeds.”
More details on swede varieties and husbandry details are available in Limagrain’s latest Essential Guide to Forage Crops available from Emily Short on 01472 370117 or email@example.com or by downloading a copy from www.lgseeds.co.uk/foragecrops