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Question for Chris - Turnip Tops and Bottoms

 
Garry Hoddinott
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Hello Chris, I have heard you speak and was rapt. Thanks for bringing your experience / perspectives to light.

My question concerns the advisability or otherwise of growing brassicas - notably turnips as cattle forage. I have read that the protein content is high but my question goes more to the value of the inputs versus the outputs. Does such cropping have a place?

Garry Hoddinott
Grafton NSW Australia
 
Chris Stelzer
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Garry Hoddinott wrote:Hello Chris, I have heard you speak and was rapt. Thanks for bringing your experience / perspectives to light.

My question concerns the advisability or otherwise of growing brassicas - notably turnips as cattle forage. I have read that the protein content is high but my question goes more to the value of the inputs versus the outputs. Does such cropping have a place?

Garry Hoddinott
Grafton NSW Australia


Garry,

Great question. You know, all of this stuff associated with pasture cropping is great. However, I think ideally the most sustainable form of agriculture is obviously permaculture but also grazing livestock. There are grazing animals all over the world and we, as humans, have eaten them for a very long time. Something has to plant those turnips, most likely a tractor which runs of fossil fuels. Thats a HUGE cost! However, this is good because many farmers are starting to change their mindset. It would be VERY hard to convince the average farmer to go from mono cropping to permaculture overnight. This is why I think things like no-till and pasture cropping have a place.

So, to answer your question (hopefully!) I think grazing cover crops has a place. But, it would be ideal to just graze livestock in most instances. When you think about the other things that are grown on fields that use cover crops for part of the year, like corn and soybeans, those crops, in my opinion have very little nutritional value for humans. On the other hand, grassfed meats are extremely healthy. So, I think cover cropping is great, especially when you integrate livestock to eat the cover crops, but I think long term it's not ideal. Yes, a step in the right direction though.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Chris Stelzer wrote:I think grazing cover crops has a place. But, it would be ideal to just graze livestock in most instances.
So, I think cover cropping is great, especially when you integrate livestock to eat the cover crops, but I think long term it's not ideal. Yes, a step in the right direction though.


Sorry, I miss something and I cannot understand. Do you mean to only graze without sowing this cover crop? What is the long-term problem?
 
Chris Stelzer
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:
Chris Stelzer wrote:I think grazing cover crops has a place. But, it would be ideal to just graze livestock in most instances.
So, I think cover cropping is great, especially when you integrate livestock to eat the cover crops, but I think long term it's not ideal. Yes, a step in the right direction though.


Sorry, I miss something and I cannot understand. Do you mean to only graze without sowing this cover crop? What is the long-term problem?



Short term I think grazing crops is fine. Ideally and long term, we should just grow high quality meats with livestock that are treated well and eat nothing but grass/pasture/brush and trees. Most foods that are grown as crops are terrible for human health like wheat and corn.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Still something I did not catch...
"grazing crops"... I have 2 options...
1) Is it to graze human crops after harvest? (you mention wheat and corn and I agree, I do not eat any of these)

I thought that Gary wanted to sow especially for cattle:
"growing brassicas - notably turnips as cattle forage. I have read that the protein content is high but my question goes more to the value of the inputs versus the outputs."

Then 2) ...did you mean that this is better to let cattle eat what is growing instead of sowing for them?
Then that the input is not worth the output...
 
Chris Stelzer
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:Still something I did not catch...
"grazing crops"... I have 2 options...
1) Is it to graze human crops after harvest? (you mention wheat and corn and I agree, I do not eat any of these)

I thought that Gary wanted to sow especially for cattle:
"growing brassicas - notably turnips as cattle forage. I have read that the protein content is high but my question goes more to the value of the inputs versus the outputs."

Then 2) ...did you mean that this is better to let cattle eat what is growing instead of sowing for them?
Then that the input is not worth the output...


Most oftentimes it's not worth it to grow crops specifically for livestock like turnips. However, maybe it is. It just depends on the situation. I cannot tell you one way or the other because there are so many different factors involved. I'd put a pencil to it and see what the costs vs benefits are.

I wasn't talking about grazing human crops after harvest. But, lets say you plant a crop of wheat. You harvest the wheat and then plant a mix of cover crops. You let those cover crops grow and harvest them with cattle. So maybe some wheat stalks are eaten but I'm sure it's a very low percentage. I hope that clears it up! I didn't do a good job explaining that, sorry.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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At least cattle can step on the stalks and + add their "manure", it is better than nothing!

Yes now it is ok and well explained for my level of knowledge!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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