why turnips?

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by nutritionist, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. nutritionist

    nutritionist Weekend Warrior

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    The past couple years I have turned many people onto american purple top rutabaga instead of using turnips. There is many reasons why and i'd venture to say 95-98% of the people who have switched will never go back except for extreme late planting scenarios.

    The rutabaga will produce 1.5 times the amount of leaf mass than the turnips. The bulbs are about 50% larger. They also are sweeter as they are slower growing and as a result will be less likely to become woody. They have better disease resistance and insect resistance because of the waxier leaf surface area compared to the rough surface of traditional turnips/brassicas.

    Turnips are 60 days until maturity and rutabaga are around 90. Here is some pictures in my educational plot, where one should see right away some huge diffferences. When I take people through the plots, they see how disease and insect pressure vary from species and why not all brassicas are created equal. rutabaga.jpg turnips.jpg
     
  2. Blarney22

    Blarney22 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Where do you buy rutabaga seed in bulk? How does it compare dollar wise to purple top turnip?
     
  3. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    ^^^^What he said.^^^^
     
  4. dbl lung

    dbl lung Weekend Warrior

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    I have tried growing bagas and they wont grow like turnips in my area. Not sure what the difference in growing is but that is why I choose rape and turnips over beets or bagas.
     
  5. Jeepwillys

    Jeepwillys Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Interesting.
     
  6. nutritionist

    nutritionist Weekend Warrior

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    ive had 100's of clients plant rutabaga and i've never had 1 say they couldn't get them to grow. I like full proof forages and sugar beets are 50-50 as to success or failure. Sugar beets are the biggest complaint with seed all over the US and for good reason. They are the most finicky seed as they need to be 1/2 deep and hate water.

    Anyone who put rutabaga next to turnips last year as a trial reported deer preferred rutabaga to turnips and thats consistent from year to year and locations across the US. Most companies dont sell them because they don't hit the profit margins many seek.
     
  7. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    What is your source for seeds?
     
  8. dbl lung

    dbl lung Weekend Warrior

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    I purchased the beets and bagas off the internet maybe from a dealer from Michigan. It was about 6 years ago that I tried them. But I always use Evolved Harvest Shot Plot with the best results of any I have tried. This year I have planted 2 1/2 acres of soybeans and will over seed them with Cabelas brand brassicas for something different. The deer in my area love brassicas. They eat them from September till there is only dirt left. Which is why I planted the soybeans. I'm hoping the soybeans last into the winter giving the deer something to eat. This is the first time in 6 chances that I have gotten soybeans to grow.
     
  9. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    I would never go full tilt 100% to bagas, but I've heard great things with guys mixing them into Rape/Turnip/other brassica blends. Each deer is different, I have some that will chow the greens, others will only touch them once frost hits...others yet only into January. Diversity is my friend when it comes to plotting.
     
  10. foodplot19

    foodplot19 Grizzled Veteran

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    I agree on the sugar beets. Planted them last year with zero luck. We are in an agricultural area. I didn't have any luck with any of the brassica. Come January the deer finally hit the winter peas. No luck with turnips or kale or rape or etc. or etc. Planted corn in the bottoms this year. Going to leave it to see what happens. Will plant some peas in strips through the corn. It'll give the peas something to climb on.
     
  11. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    I had great luck with peas last year. Brassicas have never worked for me and talked to a buddy last night that said his deer absolutely demolished his sugar beets. A guy just never knows.
     
  12. Jeepwillys

    Jeepwillys Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Excuse me Nutritionist, Sir Elkguide asked you a question.
     
  13. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Die Hard Bowhunter

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    if it was'nt for sugar beet growers here in the Red River Valley, our deer herd would be DECIMATED!!!.
    but planting them without tilling them up to the top will do very little when they freeze in
     
  14. nutritionist

    nutritionist Weekend Warrior

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    elkguide.
    I am also a distributor so i buy semi loads of seeds of all types and species. I also have people growing seeds for me. I have someone growing for me who also grows for the 2 biggest seed companies in the world. It's why i can have low prices. I also donate $1 from every seed mix i sell to youth hunters safety, disabled youth hunts and wounded veterens. My wildlife business i started to raise money for charity to give back in my Grandpa's memory.

    I work with the small plotters, to some really interesting clients that most in the US would know. I am blessed and hope to turn my wildlife branch into a total non profit in 5 years. I also am doing some research all across the US with numerous field staff and people who want to get involved with raising money and educating the public.

    The amount of growers in the US is very small for most forages. But the average guy can't buy from the growers. I sell to other wildlife companies and i also private label for people. I am higher on the food chain than most wildlife companies and so i can offer things many people cant because of price point.
     
  15. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    Thanks nutrition guy.

    PM sent.
     
  16. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    Do you have a web site set up to look at?
     
  17. nutritionist

    nutritionist Weekend Warrior

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    For those who are interested. I have education plots with many pictures, videos coming out and they are also open to the public to visit. I have just about anything you can imagine in the ground and will have another round of fall trials. People are able to see the difference ni genetics between brassicas. Insect and plant diseases vary from species as well. I have/had 7 different bulbs in the ground as well as 25 other blocks of forages in 10' wide by 60' long strips.

    The most common brassicas most of the wildlife companies use in the industry are also not as good with insects and plant diseases. People overlook this. Those are 2 huge issues that affect plant healthy, plant sugars and as a result plant palatability.

    I bring up rutabaga as so many overlook them besides my client base but another rule of thumb in the grazing community is always plant 3 species. I like having a forage that handles dry, one that handles wet and one that is fast grow. Mother nature always comes into play and it's like insurance to practice the cafeteria style approach, in my opinion.
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I have never had any luck with Brassica's of any kind on my place. I've planted multiple varieties. They seem to grow great, but my deer just are never interested in them. They just end up rotting in the ground. It's possible it's the location that I'm planting them, but they are right off on the edge of my 3.5 acre soybean plot so there is plenty of traffic. I wish I could find something that would work because I love to have a variety.
     
  19. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    What time of year you planting them?
     
  20. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I've planted them most often in August if I remember correctly, but I know I tried a spring planting once also. It just seems that the abundance of Ag crops in the area holds the deer's interest more than the brassica's.
     

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