Table 1. Typical Nutritive values for Swedes
|Swede||Dry Matter Content||Metabolisable Energy||Crude Protein|
|%||(MJ ME/kg DM)||(%DM)|
Source: Agricom NZ Brassica, Beet and Forage Cropping Guide
Domain swede, our leading variety, is dry rot tolerant, yellow fleshed swede, suitable for sheep, beef and dairy cattle, as well as younger classes of livestock. Highly palatable, Domain usually has lower bulb dry matter percentages than other varieties and has a maturity of 24 to 30 weeks.
Domain is a first crop swede as it has no improved club root tolerance and should not be sown after another brassica. It is used as a sole crop for winter grazing and can be sown with Kale to increase leaf yields. It is also a great table swede. Swedes, including Domain are usually sown at a rate of 0.75kg/ha if sown in 60cm ridges, 1.0kg/ha in 20cm rows or up to 1.5kg/ha if broadcast sown.
Swedes perform best in cool climates with adequate moisture with a minimum annual rainfall requirement of 600mm or irrigation. They don’t handle waterlogging and are sown on beds or ridged in wet areas.
They can have either white or yellow flesh. Yellow flesh swedes are also used for human consumption.
As with other brassicas care needs to be taken when grazing with livestock, and that livestock can take time to adjust to the swedes. Other animal health precautions apply as for other brassicas in respect to the: transition times/fibre/allocation/ nitrate poisoning etc. General grazing management/ animal welfare rules for brassicas apply.
Swedes sown in spring, utilise spring rainfall to provide a quality, low cost feed source into the following autumn and winter.
Agricom NZ (2014) Brassica, Beet and Forage Cropping Guide, p 20, 28.
Dr A Stewart, Dr D Charlton, (2003), Pasture and Forage Plants for New Zealand, New Zealand Grassland Association, New Zealand Grassland Trust, Grassland Research and Practice Series No.8. Second Edition. p 68.