The availability of modern swede varieties has resulted in growers getting an extra 18% dry matter yield. In Limagrainâs UK trials, based at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, modern swede varieties Gowrie and Lomond outyielded older variety Ruta Otofte by 1.7 t/ha and 1.1 t/ha of DM respectively.
âThis highlights the fact that swede growers can get at least an extra tonne of DM simply by switching to newer varieties,â points out Limagrainâs Martin Titley.
In addition, Martin stresses that many new varieties have also been bred with resistance to important diseases such as club root and powdery mildew. In the same trials both Lomond and Gowrie, exhibit resistance to powdery mildew with the maximum score of 9 â whereas Ruta Otofte only scored 4.
Martin explains: âModern swede varieties offer newer genetics, increased yields and better resistance to key diseases. This can allow fields to support more livestock and thereby help to reduce feed costs. It is worth mentioning that Lomond was bred in Scotland â which makes it ideally suited to our climate â as opposed to some varieties which have been bred in other parts of the world.â
The swede is an excellent, high energy winter feed with an ME of 12.8-13.1 MJ/kg/DM and a crude protein of 10-11%. With low growing costs, DM yields range from 9.8 to 11.5 tonnes/ha.
There is more information about swedes in our âEssential Guide to Forage Cropsâ which is available free of charge. If you would like a copy then please e-mail us on email@example.com