Brassica species such as turnip, rape, swede, tyfon and kale are not widely grown in Missouri but can furnish good quality forage in late fall and early winter. If planted in late summer, these drought-tolerant plants can provide up to 6,000 lb/acre of forage by December 1. However, because they cannot withstand repeated, severe freeze/thaw events, they cannot be expected to provide feed much beyond January 1 most years. Although forage quality of both the tops and roots is high, bloat and other animal problems can occur if Brassicas are the only feed in the diet. Brassicas do not tolerate poorly drained soils and are notorious for contracting root and crown rot diseases, especially if grown on the same field for two consecutive years. Crop rotation is about the only way to control these diseases. The turnip aphid, flea beetle, and other insects can create problems from planting through the end of September if not controlled.
REVISED: October 1, 2015