Purple Top Turnip

Brassica rapa

Technical Data Sheet

Description

High sugar content and high moisture content in the bulbs contribute to the palatability of purple top turnips. High in both potassium and calcium, purple top turnips will accumulate sulfur over time as well. Production of 6,000 lbs. dry matter per acre is possible without irrigation, and 8,000 lbs. dry matter per acre is possible with irrigation.

Growth Pattern

Growth Pattern

Growth Pattern

Purple top turnips produce a 2”–5” in diameter bulb with erect stems that contain 8-12 leaves forming a crown. Leaves are light green in color, hairy, and thin. Flowers are a soft yellow and extend above the terminal buds.

Interseeding

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Not Recommended

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Interseeding

Purple Top Turnips have been grown as forage for 600 years.

Seeds/Lb: 180,000 – 200,000

Adaptation

Soil Conditions

Soil Conditions

Soil Conditions

Turnips grow best on moderately deep loam, fertile, and slightly acidic soil. Tolerant of partial shade and temperatures down to 40°F, avoid grounds that are wet/poorly drained. Turnips will winterkill in temperatures less than 25°F.

Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.5

Growth

Growth

Growth

Optimum Growth Range: 45°F – 90°F (prolonged exposure greater than 70°F will slow growth)

Establishment

Planting

Planting

Planting

Purple top turnips can achieve maturity in 30-45 days, with near maximum production levels in 70-90 days. Planting should occur with 2” separation and 12”-18” between rows. Seeding can happen as soon as soils are workable in the spring. If fall seeding, sow seeds about two months before the first frost in your area. Soils should be loose to a depth of 12”–15”, and seedlings thinned to a spacing between 3”–4” inches.

Seeding Depth: ½” – 1″

Monoculture: 5 – 6 Lb/A

Germination

Germination

Germination

Conserve soil moisture and keep plants moist by mulching. Cultivate soils down 2” – 3” when plants are small but discontinue as plants get larger to avoid feeder root damage.

Min Time To Emergence: 6 – 10 days

Ideal Temp: 40°F – 105°F

Management

Grazing

Grazing

Grazing

Colder temperatures will assist in enhancing turnip palatability. Ensure that dry roughage is available to mitigate some unfavorable conditions when grazing brassicas and specifically turnips. Strip graze to force cattle to eat both roots and tops and increase carrying capacity.

Earliest Time To Graze: When bulbs are 3″ or larger

Fertilizing

Fertilizing

Fertilizing

At Planting: 40 Lb/A N – 70 Lb/A N

During Grazing Season: Not Applicable

Hay/Silage

Hay/Silage

Hay/Silage

Not Recommended

Recovery

Recovery

Recovery

Minimum Graze Height: 2″ – 3″

Rest Period: Not Applicable

Mixes

Mixes

Mixes

  • Annual Ryegrass
  • Rapeseed
  • Oats

Yield

Yield

Yield

Tons of Dry Matter/A: 6+ (under ideal growing conditions)

Considerations

Purple Top Turnips are not well suited to a role as permanent pasture.

Competition

Competition

Competition

Weeds will need to be thinned prior to planting. Plants will become competitive over time.

Risks

Risks

Risks

Do not graze animals on turnips during breeding season or after plants have begun to flower to avoid nitrogen toxicity or thyroid enlargement. Grazing turnips can cause the blood mineral disease hemolytic anemia, brain disorder polioencephalomalacia, pulmonary emphysema, and bloat. Typically these problems will appear within the first couple of weeks of grazing. Mitigate issues by gradually introducing a diet that includes turnips.

Diseases

Diseases

Diseases

Avoid growing brassicas on the same site for more than two years in a row.

  • Clubroot (rotate brassicas in a six-year rotation)
  • Root Knot
  • Leaf Spot
  • White Rust
  • Scab
  • Anthracnose
  • Turnip Mosaic Virus
  • Rhizoctonia Rot
  • Alternaria Leaf Spot
  • Black Root
  • Black Rot
  • Cercospora Leaf Spot
  • Downy Mildew
  • Sclerotinia Rot
  • White Spot
  • Wirestem

Pests

Pests

Pests

  • Flea Beetles
  • Common Louses
  • Cabbage Aphid
  • Root Maggots
  • Wireworms

Please Note:

All information provided is the result of research, our own experience, or the experiences shared by our customers.

We strongly encourage consulting additional resources before planting to ensure the best fit for your location and needs.

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