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The use of brassica crops has been on the increase for several years now. Farmers are becoming aware of the importance of high quality feed (high in energy and protein) for their stock and should be considered in any situation where pasture quantity or quality is limiting the potential of livestock.

When to use Brassicas?
  • During Summer, Autumn or Winter when you could have periods of feed shortage.
  • To supplement periods of low pasture quality
  • To finish stock
  • When a summer safe feed is required
  • Prior to pasture renewal
Brassica Options

What sort of forage brassica are you after?

When do you require your brassica crop ? (When will it be grazed)

  • Summer Options (December, January, February): Leaf Turnip, Rape, Summer/Autumn Turnip
  • Autumn Options (March, April, May): Leaf Turnip, Rape, Summer/Autumn Turnip
  • Winter Options (June, July, August): Kale, Swede, Rape, Winter Turnip, Fodder Beet
Or why not try one of our popular Brassica Mixes..



Forage Brassicas
Brassicas require a firm, fine, warm, moist seedbed and are best sown after pasture, but may follow a crop.

  • Kale:
    Also known as Chou Moellier, Kales are winter active and mainly used as a "winter feed".

    Kale can provide high dry matter/ hectare yields however for best results kale requires high soil fertility and good soil moisture.

    Kale is suitable for cattle, sheep, and deer but the taller or giant types are best used for only cattle grazing, while the shorter, leafier cultivars are more suited to sheep and deer.

    Higher sowing rates lead to thinner and more palatable stems.

    Recommended sowing rate: 4 - 5 kgs per hectare
    Seed treatments: Gaucho, Superstrike, Ultrastrike, Crop coat, SF Force Field Plus.


    There are three types of Kale:

    Medium Stem types: Lowest growing of the three Kale types medium stem kales normally have high leaf to stem ratios which makes utilisation better but have the lowest yield potential of the three types. Also medium stem types have improved lodging resistance which make them excellent in snow prone areas. Suitable for all stock types but normally used for sheep grazing.

    Intermediate Stem types: These types are the result of crossing a medium stem and giant stem type together to get the most desirable traits from each parent. Higher and narrower stems intermediate kales have very good leaf to stem ratios leading to higher palatability and utilisation. Suitable for all stock types

    Giant Stem types: Giant stem types obtain more of their yield from their stems rather than from their leafs. In the man these kales are only used for cattle/dairy cow grazing where a high overall yield per hectare is required. Grazing management is very important otherwise they can have poorer quality than the other two types.


    Kale cultivars
    Height Cultivar Product information
    Caledonian Tall Caledonian kale is an excellent cultivar as it combines very high yield with softer stems, for improved feed quality and utilisation. It is a tall, marrow stem cultivar that provides excellent winter feed for cattle.
    For more information please download the Agriseeds brassica brochure
    Coleor Small-Medium Coleor is a high yielding, leafy, diploid Kale of short to medium height, very high leaf to stem ratio and very good winter hardiness.
    For more information please download the Coleor kale brochure
    Corka Intermediate Corka Kale is an exciting new high palatable, intermediate kale to Specialty Seeds New Zealand. Corka is suitable for all stock types, has very good cool winter hardiness, and Thin stems and a high leaf to stem ratio. Extremely high yield potential of 15-18 tonne DM / ha.
    For more information please download the Corka kale brochure
    SF Fuel Medium Fuel Kale is an intermediate height cultivar with good leaf to stem ratio and disease tolerance.
    For more information please download the SF Voltage kale brochure
    Gruner Giant Gruner is a very high yielding giant type kale with potential yield of 17,000kg DM/ha
    For more information please download the Gruner kale brochure
    SF Inka Giant High yielding giant type kale with moderate leaf to stem ratio.
    For more information please download the SF Inka kale brochure
    Kestral Medium Kestrel is a medium height cultivar with digestible thick stems, high leaf to stem ratio and low SMCO levels.
    For more information please download the Kestral kale brochure
    Regal Intermediate An intermediate height, low yielding cultivar bred for a high leaf percentage. Has a high total yield and winter hardiness.
    For more information please download the Regal kale brochure
    Sovereign Intermediate Sovereign is an intermediate height cultivar, with a high leaf to stem ratio and high yield potential.
    For more information please download the Sovereign kale brochure
    SF Voltage Medium A marrow-stem, medium sized cultivar that is suitable for all stock classes.
    For more information please download the SF Voltage kale brochure



    Typical feed values of Kale
    The section of the plant ME (MJ ME/kg DM) Protein (%)
    Whole Plant 11 - 13 14 - 18
    Leaf 12 - 13 19 - 21
    Top third of stem 12 - 13 15 - 17
    Middle third of stem 11 - 12 12 - 14
    Bottom third of stem 10 - 11 8 - 10



    Download Link: Download the Specialty Seeds Feeding Kale brochure.
    Download Link: Download the Specialty Seeds Brassica growing guide brochure.
    Website Link: See the Specialty Seeds Compare Winter brassica sowing options website page.
    Contact Link: If you have any other questions on Clean Crop brassica please contact Specialty Seeds.


  • Rape:
    Forage rape may be sown alone or in mixtures as a specialist "summer to winter feed". Rape is often included in seed pasture mixes and sown at 0.5 - 1 kg per ha. Rape can be sown from early spring to late summer and is generally ready to graze 12-16 weeks after sowing. Rape can be sown on lower soil fertility soil than most other brassicas. With good soil fertility and moisture, yields of 8 tonne DM/ha can be achieved.
    (Note: Some care is required when grazing rape and it is best to allow the crop to fully mature before grazing and to gradually increase Rape in their diet.)

    Cultivar Regrowth Days to Maturity Product information
    Bonar Good 90 - 110 High forage yield and quality. Excellent autumn/early winter feed option. Later maturing, good regrowth potential. Can be sown in Spring and Autumn.
    Giant Poor 90 - 100 Contact Specialty Seeds for more information
    Goliath Good 90 - 110 A new generation rape x kale interspecies cross. Bred and trialled by Plant & Food Research (NZ) for New Zealand grazing systems. Highest yielding multi graze giant rape available, a potential yield of 10,500kg DM/ha. Multi-purpose forage rape with excellent summer/ autumn/early winter feed. Superior regrowth potential with excellent winter keeping properties. Good aphid tolerance. Download the Goliath forage rape brochure for more information
    Greenland Good 70 - 84 Very late flowering, leafy type. Medium plant height. Good palatability with aphid tolerance. Multi-graze flexibility. Summer/autumn/winter feed option. Download the Greenland forage rape brochure for more information
    HT Rape Good 75 - 90 HT Rape is part of the Cleancrop brassica system.
    Click here for more information the Clean crop brassica system
    Interval Good 90 - 110 Contact Specialty Seeds for more information
    Leafmore Good 42 - 55 Contact Specialty Seeds for more information
    Spitfire Good 90 - 100 Spitfire is a multi-purpose rape that can be sown in spring for lamb or cattle finishing or summer dairy grazing, or sown in mid-summer to early-autumn for autumn and winter grazing. Download the Spitfire rape brochure for more information
    Titan Good 70 - 90 A new generation rape x kale interspecies cross. Bred and trialled by Plant & Food Research (NZ) for New Zealand grazing systems. Highest yielding multi-graze, intermediate height rape available with a potential yield of 10,000kg DM/ha. Highest animal preference cultivar available. Excellent aphid and virus tolerance. Download the Titan forage rape brochure for more information
    Rangi Good 90 - 100 Contact Specialty Seeds for more information
    Winfred Good 70 - 84 Winfred is a very versatile brassica, as it is suited to a wide range of soil fertility and environmental conditions, and is either spring and/or late-summer sown. Download the Winfred rape brochure for more information

    Click here for more information on these Rape varieties.

  • Leaf Turnip:
    Leaf Turnip may be sown alone or in mixtures as a specialist "summer to winter feed". Leaf Turnip can be sown alone at 3 -4 kg and can also be included in pasture seed mixes and sown at 0.5 - 1 kg per ha. Leaf Turnip can be sown from early spring to late summer and have minimal maturity requirements before grazing. Leaf Turnips can be sown on lower soil fertility soil than most other brassicas. With good soil fertility and moisture, yields of 10-12 tonne DM/ha can be achieved.
    (Note: Some care is required when grazing stock on Leaf Turnip and it is best to gradually increase it into their diet.)

    Cultivar Days to first grazing Product information
    HT Leafy Turnips 40 - 55 HT Leafy Turnips are part of the Cleancrop brassica system.
    Click here for more information the Clean crop brassica system
    Hunter 42 - 56 Hunter is a quick-growing, leafy turnip, with minimal bulb development and is best suited to multiple grazings. Download the Hunter Leafy Rape brochure for more information
    Pasja II 42 - 70 High yields from successive grazings (potential yield of 12,000kg DM/ha over multiple grazings). Fast establishing, high quality feed ready for grazing within 42-70 days of sowing. Excellent plant persistence after multiple grazings. Provides a flexible grazing option for all stock classes over summer and autumn. Minimal ripening requirement. Download the Pasja Forage brassica brochure for more information
    SF Pacer 45 - 50 SF Pacer is suited to medium-high fertility soils with summer moisture or irrigation, providing multiple grazings to meet summer and early autumn feed requirements. Download the SF Pacer Forage brassica brochure for more information

    Click here to a see quick comparison chart Leaf Turnip varieties.

Root Crops
Root Crops commonly used include Turnips and Swedes. Root Crops provide greater resistance to aphid than rape crops but are more senstitive to deficiencies of boron, particularly in wetter areas. Stock grazing root crops need sound teeth to make effective use of them, and energy requirements are higher because of high water content of the bulbs.

  • Turnips:
    Turnips vary in yield potential, ploidy level, maturity, size of bulb, bulb keeping quality, and these factors considerably influence the choice and intended mixtures with rape or grasses, particularly Italian Ryegrasses. Turnips can either be spring (for summer feed), summer or autumn(for autumn or winter feed) sown. Yields tend to increase with later maturity types and vary from 5 to 8 tonne DM/ha.

    Summer Variety:

    Cultivar Ploidy type Days to Maturity Product information
    Barkant Diploid 60-90 Highest yielding summer bulb turnip available, a potential yield 15,000kg DM/ha. High leaf to bulb ratio resulting in high levels of protein. Early maturing for excellent summer feed. Download the Barkant Turnip brochure
    Dynamo Diploid 60-90 Contact Specialty Seeds for more information.
    Marco Diploid 55-65 Marco tetraploid turnip is the fastest establishing turnip, meaning less days out of pasture. High quality tetraploid turnip for greater animal performance benefits. Download the Marco Turnip brochure for more information.
    Rival Tetraploid 84-98 Rival summer turnip is an early-maturing tankard-shaped bulb turnip bred for high leaf production. Rival is ideally used as part of a pasture renovation program on dairy farms that have a period of dry and/or a loss of pasture quality through January and February. Download the Rival Turnip brochure for more information.
    SF Envy Tetraploid 60-90 SF Envy is a quick maturing (60 90 days) tankard turnip for summer/autumn utilisation. Download the SF Envy Turnip brochure for more information.
    SF White star Tetraploid 90-110 SF White Star is a mid maturing (90 110 days) stubble turnip for flexible use. Use to extend grazing period alongside SF Envy or as an autumn sown option for late autumn/winter feed. Download the SF White Star Turnip brochure for more information.

    Winter Variety:

    Cultivar Days to Maturity Product information
    Appin 90 - 120 High leaf yields from multi-crowned bulbs. Excellent regrowth potential. Firmly anchored for minimum wastage. Clubroot tolerant
    Green Globe 90 - 120 Multi-purpose product can be sown for grazing in summer, autumn and winter. Most winter hardy bulb turnip available. Good yield potential (10,000kg DM/ha). Download the Green Globe Turnip brochure
    HT Bulb turnip 90 - 120 HT Bulb turnip is part of the Cleancrop brassica system.
    Click here for more information the Clean crop brassica system
    New York 110 New York turnip is a medium-maturity winter turnip, bred as a York globe replacement. It is a white-fleshed, purple-skinned, oval-bulbed, diploid turnip. Click here for more information the New York turnip brochure
    SF G2 110 SF G2 is a later maturing turnip (110+ days), planted in summer/early autumn for winter feed. Click here for more information the SF G2 brochure
    York Globe 110 Contact Specialty Seeds for more details
    SF White star 90-110 SF White Star is a mid maturing (90 110 days) stubble turnip for flexible use. Use to extend grazing period alongside SF Envy or as an autumn sown option for late autumn/winter feed. Download the SF White Star Turnip brochure for more information.

    Click here for more information on Winter varieties of Turnips.
    Click here for more information on Summer / Autumn varieties of Turnips.

  • Swedes:
    Swedes are sown between November to early December, either ridged in cool areas, or conventionally drilled to provide specialist winter feed. Generally yellow fleshed swede varieties are commonly used for human consumption because of improved flavour and lower water content compared to white fleshed type. Winter yields of 10 to 16 tonne DM/ha are achievable.

    Cultivar Skin Colour Days to Maturity Product information
    Aparima Gold Yellow Fleshed 170 - 230 Highest yielding main crop swede, a potential yield of 18,000 kg DM/ha. Bred and trialed by Plant & Food Research for NZ grazing systems. Yellow-fleshed bulb with medium maturity. Clubroot and dry rot tolerant. Excellent keeping qualities with high leaf percentage.
    Dominion Yellow Fleshed 170 - 210 Dominion swede is a traditional high-yielding yellow fleshed main-crop swede. Relative to Doon Major, Dominion has improved leaf retention in winter. Dominion has a good record of performance and provides a good traditional first crop yellow-fleshed swede, with excellent flavour. Download the Dominion swede brochure
    Highlander White Fleshed 180 - 250 Main crop swede. White-fleshed bulb. Later Maturing.
    HT Swede Yellow Fleshed 170 - 230 HT Swede is part of the Cleancrop brassica system.
    Click here for more information the Clean crop brassica system
    Keystone White Fleshed 170 - 250 Highest dry rot tolerance of all commercially available swedes. High yielding, main crop swede. Download the Keystone Swede brochure
    Invitation Yellow Fleshed 170 - 250 Invitation is a late maturing, yellow-fleshed swede, with high bulb and leaf yield. It provides excellent winter feed for sheep, cattle and deer. Download the Invitation Swede brochure
    Major Plus Yellow Fleshed 150 - 230 A main crop, early maturing, soft bulbed swede. Bred and trialed by Plant & Food Research for New Zealand grazing systems. Good yielding swede with a potential of 16,000 kg DM/ha. Yellow-fleshed, light purple skinned bulb.

    Click here for more information on varieties of Swede.

  • Fodder Beet:
    Fodder Beet is one of the highest yielding forage options available to farmers, but it is actually not a brassica! Click here for more information on Fodder Beet.

    Brigadier: Our most popular variety. Brigadier is a soft bite Fodder Beet and the best option for grazing young stock.
    Collose: High root yield. Oval, swede shaped Beet. Enabling easy access to the crop when strip feeding. Higher in dry matter.

    Click here for more information on Fodder Beet.

To check out seed supply for these new products click here.



Downloads: Click here to download the Brassica Growing Guide in PDF Format.



Note: Some files on this page require Adobe PDF reader. If you do not have Adobe Reader please click here to download it for free.




Click here for more information on the Clean Crop Brassica system Specialty Seeds are accredited re sellers of Clean Crop Brassica.



Click here for more information on Fodder Beet

Click here to download the Brassica Growing Guide




Click here to see the Brassica Seed Supply Update



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