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:
Direct drilled 2kg/acre.
Sowing at 3kg/acre creates a thinner stem. Silage wrap needs to be much thicker.
Mid May onwards, depending on the last frost (early July down South).
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.
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