The Feed Crop for the 1st Half of the Year – Canola

Canola…formerly called Rape.  In all the books that I frequent to learn about feeding hogs, one thing is common.  They were all written prior to WWII.  Agriculture changed considerably after WWII, and most Sustainable Farming Organizations would agree that the USDA and other major government and corporate organizations have not lead agriculture into the most sustainable direction over the past 65 years or so.  It is from these old books that we can learn about how agriculture was conducted prior to interstate highways, half million dollar agriculture equipment purchases, and gene altered crops.  The other thing that has increase is so-called political correctedness…which has lead to the name change of Rape to Canola.  Having been raised and employed in our environment, I can relate to the word Canola sounding much better than the word Rape, but it sure does make it a little confusing when conducting research from material prior to WWII. 

Canola is a crop we have not grown yet.  Look forward to raising Canola over the next year.  Most references to forage feeding Canola to Hogs is tailored to foraging the green phases of the crop.  I will attempt feeding Canola to the Hogs from late January to late July by utilizing the green forage and then finally the grain as the plant matures.  Will report here on research gleaned from the trial we run – will plant one acre this Fall.

Canola in our area of Georgia is planted between October 10th and November 10th.  The forage will begin to be grazed by the hogs as soon as late January, and will provide 28% protein to the growing hogs while in the green stage.  The Seed is mature beginning with the early season varieties in early May and ending with the late season varieties in early June.  40-50 bushels (at 50 lbs per bushel or 2250 pounds at 45 bushels) per acre is harvestable in Georgia, and will provide feed for approximately 15 to 25 100 lb hogs per acre over this month long seed harvest.  This feed will have as much as 40% protein, so will provide rapid growth to the swine when grazed in conjunction with other crops.

Here is UGAs information on Canola – http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/B1331/B1331.htm

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