Grazing Cover Crops in the Winter

Over the past 9 years I have worked with Ed Ballard from the University of Illinois on grazing cattle over the winter.

During the first 4-5 years I was much more concerned about the “above ground” aspect of the cover crop and weight gain by the animals.

However, these past 4-5 years have shown me the dual benefit of this amazing plan.  The mix I use is 1-1/2 to 2 bushel per acre of oats, 1 bushel of winter rye and 5# of Appin Turnips.

This mix works well flown into standing corn or drilled right after the corn harvest.  I have attached a You Tube video to show the wonderful benefits cattle producers can get using this cover crop.

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3 Responses to Grazing Cover Crops in the Winter

  1. Richard Strong December 1, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Can You give some sound recommendations on a good cover grazing choice for breeding age hogs? I live in north La. ay help would be appreciated.

  2. Dave December 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Hogs do well on turnips and I will assume that they will also like cover crop radishes. To have a very good cover crop that is good for the soil and the hogs I’d suggest 1 bu/acre of Oats and 3# of Radish and add 3-5#/acre of Appin Turnips. I like Appin because the bulb is nearly completely in the soil so we get some better soil biology going on with it. Our hogs liked eating the oats too!


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