Sowing date harvest date and the yield of forage brassica crops
Harper, F.; Compton, I.J.
Grass and Forage Science 35(2): 147-158
The effect of sowing date, within the period from late May to mid-Aug., on the DM [dry matter] yield of 5 leafy forage brassica crops sown to a stand was examined over the period 1976-1978. Kale was the crop most sensitive to variation in sowing date, and yields declined progressively with later sowings. There was no yield benefit from sowing rapes or stubble turnips earlier than mid- to late-June. Raphanobrassica produced yields as good as rape when sown in June. In 1978, DM yields of rape, kale and Raphanobrassica increased from Sept. to early Nov., largely as a result of stem growth; kale was slower to accumulate DM than rape in late summer but continued growing longer into the autumn. The DM concentrations of all crops increased from Sept.-Dec. Rape had a higher DM concentration than stubble turnip. Raphanobrassica was 10-25 g kg-1 lower in DM concentration than rape or kale. Raphanobrassica produced 23-59% flowering plants from late-May to early-June sowing. Harvest date affected DM yield and concentration, leaf:stem ratio and flowering percentage. The effects of sowing date on DM concentration were small.