Castle Mixture


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.


  • 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


Click here to download our Forage & Root Crop Guide

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