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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 78 No. 2, p. 245-253
    Received: Sept 4, 1984

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Forage Dry Matter Accumulation and Quality of Turnip, Swede, Rape, Chinese Cabbage Hybrids, and Kale in the Eastern USA1

  1. G. A. Jung2,
  2. R. A. Byers2,
  3. M. T. Panciera3 and
  4. J. A. Shaffer2



Production of cool-season (C3) herbage generally is low in summer and fall in the humid eastern USA. This study was conducted to determine the yields and pest problems of spring-sown turnip, Brassica rapa L.; swede, B. napus L.; rape, B. napus L.; interspecific crosses between Chinese cabbage, B. campestris sensufaio L., and turnip or rape; or kale, B. oferucea L., that were stockpiled. The crops were no-till seeded (turnip and swede at 1.4 kg ha−1, rape, the hybrids, and kale at 4.2 kg ha−1) into mature alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.>grass stands. Prior to seeding, the sod was treated with isopropylamine salt of N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine at 1.1 kg a.i. ha−1. The study was made in central Pennsylvania on Hagerstown silt loam (fine, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludalfs) soil in 1979 and 1980 and on Hublersburg silt loam (clayey, illitic, mesic Typic Hapludults) soil in 1981. Dry matter yield determinations were made sequentially at 30-day intervals from 60 to 150 days post-seeding. Fertilizer (P and K) was applied according to soil test results and 80 kg N ha−1 was applied at seeding and 70 kg N ha−1 between the 60- and 90day sampling dates. Three-year mean dry matter yields for 13 of 19 cultivars exceeded 7.0 Mg ha−1 90 days post-seeding. Yields plateaued from 80 to 160 days depending on plant species, cultivar, and year. Cultivar (across species) ✕ sampling date, turnip cultivar ✕ year, and swede, rape, and kale sampling date ✕ year interactions were significant for yield. Incidence of plant diseases was positively related to slowing of growth at physiological maturity. Some New Zealand turnip and rape cultivars were more resistant to flea beetle [Phyllotreta cruciferae Goeze and P. siriofata (Fab.)] than cultivars of European origin. Crude protein concentration of turnip and Chinese cabbage hybrid tops was higher at 120 than 90 days, but it was not for other species. Crude protein concentration ranged from 110 g kg−1 in roots of certain cultivars to 270 g kg−1 in turnip tops. Species ✕ sampling date and year ✕ sampling date interactions were significant for crude protein concentration and in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD). The IVDMD values ranged from 800 to 930 g kg−1 Kale had the lowest mean IVDMD, 840 g kg−1.

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