PRESS BULLETIN No. 64.
florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
RAPE FOR HOGS.
BY JOHN M. SCOTT.
It is nearing the time for the farmer to think of planting some
crops to furnish winter pasture for his hogs. One of the best crops for
this purpose is rape. Rape is a plant of the mustard family, very close-
ly related to the cabbage, turnip, etc. Its native home is Europe, and
is highly prized there as a crop for all classes of farm animals. Bulletin
No. 78 of this Station reports a yield of 27,200 pounds per acre of the
Dwarf Essex variety (which is considered the best variety for Florida
conditions) on rather light sandy soils well manured.
Rape does well on nearly all kinds of soil; but like many other
crops, the better the soil, the larger yield will be secured. An old veg-
etable field would be an ideal spot, and would only require the addition
of a small amount of fertilizer, say 200 or 300 pounds of a good vegeta-
ble fertilizer, containing about the following: Ammonia, 6 per cent.,
phosphoric acid, 7 per cent., and potash, 8 per cent. On poorer soils
the amount of fertilizer should be increased to double this amount.
Work the fertilizer into the soil well before planting the seed.
WHEN TO PLANT.
Rape may be planted at any time during the months of September
or October. With favorable conditions, it ought to afford good pasture
in six to eight weeks.
HOW TO PLANT.
Rape may be planted in drills or broadcast. If the ground is badly
infected with seeds of noxious weeds, it will be better to plant in drills
and give some cultivation. Rape is rather a slow grower at first; but
after reaching the height of three or four inches, it grows very rapidly.
August 5, 1907.
If planted in drills, have the drills not more than two feet, or two and a
half feet apart. It is the writer's opinion that more satisfactory results
will be obtained if it is planted in drills, for the following reasons:-
First, there is less waste when pastured, as hogs will naturally walk be-
tween the rows; hence, they do not trample so many plants or leaves
under foot. Second, less seed will be required. Third, drilling will
permit cultivation, insuring larger yields. The amount of seed required
per acre will vary from three to five pounds, depending upon whether it
is planted in drills or sown broadcast.
Hogs may be turned into the field and allowed to pasture on the
rape, or it may be cut and fed to them. With this latter method much
larger yields will be secured, if care is taken in cutting. If cut so as to
leave the stubs five or six inches high, a second-and under favorable
conditions, a third-crop may be secured.
State papers please copy.