Planting Rape for the Pigs

After a protracted wet period, the dry weather of the previous days unleashed bottled up activity on the farm.  We tilled the garden and started planting, got a load of pigs to the butcher, pounded fence posts, moved the cattle to a new pasture with temporary fencing, rounded up the cattle after they broke out of said fencing, and harrowed and planted the pigs’ summer pasture.  And now it is raining again.

Rape Seed Bag

We’re hoping to grow a lush field of Dwarf Essex Rape for the pigs.  Half the bag went to overseeding the cow’s winter bale grazing area and the other half went to three different fields the pigs grazed last year.

Rape Seed

Lots of itty bitty seeds.  Whenever I broadcast with the ATV-mounted spreader, I end up with seeds in my pants, shoes, and pockets.  The worst seeds I’ve ever broadcast were field peas; those things really sting when errant peas ricochet off the impeller.

Disced Field

I worked up about an acre and a half of land here.  This particular area got beat up last summer by the grower pigs when we parked them in one spot for a few weeks while the pond construction tied up our attention.

I’ve had wildly varying success with broadcast seeding brassicas and Dwarf Essex Rape in particular.  I am sure that I could seed at a lower rate and germinate at a higher rate with a drill and a cultipacker.  But this is an experiment.  If it works well, investing in better ground working equipment (or hiring out the service) might be justified.  This is the first time I’ve followed the pigs with a disc; in the past I’ve just overseeded paddocks that the pigs churned up.

If it works, I’ll post some pictures later in the season.  If it doesn’t, I’ll ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen.

One Comment on “Planting Rape for the Pigs

  1. Pingback: Crop Failure Etiology | Wrong Direction Farm

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