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 Fodder
Alfalfa
Barley
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Brassica
Kale
Rapeseed
Rutabaga
Hay
Legumes
False Oat Grass
Fescue

 
 

 
Brassica

A Brief Introduction
Brassica refers to any plant belonging to the genus Brassica, of the mustard family (Brassicaceae). It includes many important vegetables such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, and mustard. Crops from this genus are sometimes called cole crops, which is derived from the Latin caulis, meaning cabbage.

This genus is remarkable for containing more important agricultural and horticultural crops than any other genus and includes a number of weeds, both wild taxa and escapees from cultivation. They are consumed by human and are also used as an animal fodder and feed supplement.

The family includes more than 30 wild species & hybrids, and numerous additional cultivars and hybrids of cultivated origin, in which majority of them are annuals or biennials, but some are small shrubs.
 
Nutritional Value
A rich source of vitamins and minerals, brassica contains many medicinal properties. They provide high amounts of vitamin C, soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties: 3,3'- diindolylmethane, sulforaphane and selenium.

Brassica as a Fodder
The species and cultivars of a brassica genus are also cultivated as a forage and feed crops in many parts of the world. They are generally grown as alternative feed crops. Production of Brassica crops for forage production can occur in many locations, including soils where conditions may not be suited for production of alfalfa or corn.

Brassica is high in dry matter digestibility at 85 to 95% which contrasts with good alfalfa, at 70%. Its leaves contain 18 to 25% crude protein, while  the root contains about 10% crude protein. Due to their rich nutritional contents, these leaf and root crops have been commonly grown in New Zealand and Europe as nutritional fodder for sheep and cattle.
 
It also improves the fertility of the soil and allow farmers to increase their grazing season. Brassica also performs well on neglected sites where problems like soil acidity, low available nutrient content, poor drainage and/or droughty soils, and soils with topographical limitations exist.
 

Species
The following are the major species of the brassica genus:

  • B. carinata - Abyssinian Mustard or Abyssinian Cabbage, used to produce biodiesel.
  • B. elongata - Elongated Mustard
  • B. fruticulosa - Mediterranean Cabbage
  • B. juncea - Indian Mustard, Brown and leaf mustards, Sarepta Mustard.
  • B. napus - Rapeseed, Canola, Rutabaga (Swede Turnip), Nabicol
  • B. narinosa - Broadbeaked Mustard
  • B. nigra - Black Mustard
  • B. oleracea - Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kai-lan, Brussels sprouts
  • B. perviridis - Tender Green, Mustard Spinach
  • B. rapa (syn B. campestris) - Chinese Cabbage, Turnip, Rapini, Komatsuna
  • B. rupestris - Brown Mustard
  • B. septiceps - Seventop Turnip
  • B. tournefortii - Asian Mustard, and many more.
 
 


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