Dry summers can leave pastures and fields bare, which can leave cattle producers struggling to find forage for their animals for the fall grazing season. This has led farmers to try turnips.

Vince Weatherly, a Missouri farmer, first tried turnips in the summer of 2012, which was exceptionally dry. He put the turnips, along with rye, into his pastures and, after a late-August rain, saw results. He said the turnips were ready to be grazed at 6 to 8 inches tall, Joann Pipkin reported in the Angus Beef Bulletin. Weatherly said that the turnips can’t get too tall, though.

“We do a lot of rotational grazing and strip-grazed the turnips,” Weatherly said. “It worked very effectively.”

Turnips can be used as a cover crop after corn, sorghum, sudan, millet and wheat, and it can fill forage gaps during a drought, Pipkin reported.

For the full story on using turnips for forage, click here.