Kale experience needed

huthut

5 year old buck +
Have a friend in Northern Wi that uses Kale as a staple in his food plot mix. I always do fall brassicas and may do them earlier this year. Kale is intriguing because of the thick stalk that would be left above ground for winter food. After this last Wi winter I am considering this option as deep snow really limits access to brassica bulbs. Also liked a lot of what Dipper does with early planting of winter rye and will be trying that also.
 

Terrific_tom

5 year old buck +
Kale is a longer growing brassica. Should be spring planted.
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
TT is correct, as early as possible to achieve max tonnage. Also be careful what variety you get, Dwarf Siberian kale and some other varieties do grow a bit shorter. It will stand up the best to cold and frost though. If you want the taller ones you will have to do some variety research and get the taller types, Kestrel kale might be a good choice, we tried it on our sand and it did ok, I'm sure with better soil it would have produced much more tonnage than it did for us, we also skimped on the fertilizer and brassicas love the N.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
Thanks - If I would do Kale definitely looking for a taller variety. I will look into the different varieties and see which would suit my needs best. Overall Kale food plot utilization does not seem to be particularly popular. Just trying to think of ways to diversify for deep winter snows that we have been seeing lately. Deer populations are high by my and corn and soybeans (5 acres) are gone by end of November. Brassicas are a big hit with my deer but 3 acres got significantly eaten even by the time the deep snow hit in December. I also plant lots of winter rye, but probably will do some early planting that Dipper has been a proponent of.
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
Agreed stu, I have seen photos of cows in NZ that were grazing a sward of kale and the plants were rubbing their bellies. Darn near up to the top of the sheep's backs in some pics. They must have access to some taller varieties over there. I know the Red Russian kale grows tall and seed is available, but the stems do not have the extreme amount of leaf matter running the whole length of the stalk like dwarf Siberian or Kestrel, they look more like a rhubarb type plant with a tall heavy stalk and a leaf on top.
 

Doug Galloway

5 year old buck +
Tall kale seed has been hard to find (for me anyway). In the UK and NZ the seed is easy to find (apparently)

Probably...because....they commonly use a brassica crop as a 'break crop' in the regeneration of tame pastures every several years.....perennial rye genetics are as important to them as corn genetics are here....the brainchild of the stockmen down under is the 'modern forage brassica'!

Winfred forage brassica is a kale cross.

I would like to try a long day (200) kale (stalked type) in a spring blend here....I've heard the stemless kale has a shorter maturity time?...T/F?
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
From my understanding, that is true Doug. The stemless varieties are typically 20 to 50 or so days earlier than the stalked types under most conditions. If I were at home right now, I think I still have a list of maturation dates for a few different varieties that I could post. Bonar is another type of "forage rape" similar to Winfred. The variety Rangi or Rangiora is typically taller than both Bonar and Winfred.
 
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