X
Castle Mixture

Kale

main crop

Andrew Best of Watson Seeds along with Andrew Nelson of Cogarth, Parton, Castle Douglas in a field of Maris Kestrel kale.  Andrew Nelson uses the kale to break up an old grass sward.  The first year the kale is drilled directly into a grassed field.  The following year a further crop of kale is sown and in year three the field is reseeded with a grass mixture.

BENEFITS OF GROWING KALE:

  • Low cost option for finishing lambs
  • Winter hardy
  • Flexible utilisation – can stretch from August through to March
  • High crude protein content – can be fed to all types of livestock
  • Full season gamecover crop (GC)
  • Can be used for buffer feed for dairy cows during dry summers.
  • Used for out-wintering systems.
  • Second highest utilisable yield out of all the forage crops (45T/Ha).
  • Higher yields than hybrid rape.

Sowing rates
Direct drilled 2kg/acre.
Broadcast 3kg/acre.
Sowing at 3kg/acre creates a thinner stem. Silage wrap needs to be much thicker.

Sowing dates
Mid May onwards, depending on the last frost (early July down South).

Utilisation dates
August to February/March

Time to mature
Approx 20 weeks

How to sow
Firm, fine and level seedbed. Best grown on medium loam, well drained (non-compacted) soils with pH of around 6.2

How to utilise
Strip grazing in situ – behind electric fence which is moved 1-2 times a day, allow for 3m per cow and grass to run back on.
Zero grazing – cutting the crop with a forage harvester allows minimum waste of this crop. It can then be fed from a forage box or behind a barrier.
It can also be ensiled as kaleage.

kale table 2

foragebooklet

Click here to download our Forage & Root Crop Guide

Castle Mixture

Castle Mixtures are our flagship seed range – the best you can get. Select from the range below or use our ‘Which Seed’ tool, above, to find the right mixture for you.

Which seed?

Find the right mixture for you

We are proud supporters of

Accreditations and Memberships Accreditations and Memberships Accreditations and Memberships Accreditations and Memberships Accreditations and Memberships