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Forage-Type Brassica Crops for Inclusion in Cocktail Mixtures

Updated: May 10

Trial Site: Fairview Research Farm

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2017 Annual Report

Brassicas are a group of closely related plants, which include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rape, radish, turnip, rutabaga and swede. Grazing of forage brassicas requires careful management. Brassica crops can cause health disorders in grazing animals if not managed properly. The main disorders are bloat, atypical pneumonia, nitrate poisoning, hemolytic anemia (mainly with kale), hypothyroidism, and polioencephalomalacia. Although there are many management factors to consider, forage brassicas do provide producers with a high yielding, quality forage option at a time when most cool season grasses are not available. Annual forage brassicas can provide livestock producers with fast-growing, high yielding, quality fall pasture.


  • Project Site: Fairview Research Farm (NW5-82-3W6) on RR #35, MD of Fairview.

  • Previous crop: Oats for greenfeed in 2016 and 2015.

  • Site soil information (0-6” depth): Soil tests done at Exova laboratory (Edmonton) prior to seeding showed pH = 5.6 and soil organic matter = 8.0 %.

  • The field was cultivated (disked and harrowed) before seeding.

  • Experimental Design: Randomized complete block design in 3 replications in small plots (118.8 ft2 )

Brassica crops tested (treatments): 11 forage-type brassicas were seeded at recommended seeding rates as listed below:

1. Kale @ 4lbs

2. Bayou kale cross @ 4 lbs <