Vegetative Growth



(Brassica nap nap)

Swedes are one of the highest energy forage crops, they are used to provide food for livestock, in the form of finishing lambs or providing a winter maintenance forage.


Used for overwinter livestock grazing.


They are an annual species.


A high energy, high yielding crop, recently developed varieties have good resistance to club root and powdery mildew. They are very frost tolerant and so can provide forage late into the winter and early spring.

Frost Tolerance

Good frost tolerance


9-10t DM per ha.

Sowing Rate Advice

1.5kg per acre / 3.75kg per ha.

A precision drill can be used if available to reduce the amount of seed, known as Grade H, 150gs - 350gs per acre.

Mixture Sowing Rate Advice

0.2kg per acre / 0.5kg per ha.

May be used in a mixture with other suitable brassica species like the hardy turnip and kale.

Ideal Sowing Time

It should be sown by June at the latest. This species takes longer to establish and bulb up than the shorter term species like stubble turnips and forage rape, so at least 20 weeks should be allowed from sowing to grazing.


Strips grazing will utilise the crop as efficiently as possible.

Distinguishing characteristics


This round seed is black to dark brown in colour. It has a smooth but dull finish and is approximately 2mm in size. It is available with a clay coating, to ensure the size is more uniform for precision sowing.


The swede seedling produces a pair of kidney shaped cotyledons, with the beginning of a mid vein in each cotyledon showing. The first true leaf has a much less uniform shape, with a more serrated margin.

Vegetative State

Flowering Plant
Usually a pale green coloured plant, with waxy leaves. The leaf margins are toothed, with an obvious mid rib. Developing large purple bulbs above ground, with a thin taproot below ground.

Additional Info

Average seeds per kg - 300 000. Average protein content 11%. Growth Period 20 weeks.

Works well with

It can be combined with brassica species like kale and hardy turnip which have a similar 20 week establishment period.

Buy Swede Straight

You can find Swede in the following mixtures