Bayou Kale

Plant Characteristics: Bayou  is a medium maturing forage brassica with good winter hardiness and a smooth leaf with a nutty flavor that is sweet to human taste. This kale has a smaller stem compared to other kale yet grows to a height of eight feet when taken for seed production.

Establishment: The spring green-up of Bayou is similar to forage rapes. Seed size and crop management of Bayou are similar to other brassica, like turnips etc. Seed should be planted at 6-10 lbs/ac when planted as a single species and 2-3 lbs/ac when mixed with other crops. Bayou should be planted between July and August for the Midwest, or between September and October for the South.

Pasture/Grazing: Bayou has excellent regrowth potential when rotationally grazed, and the stems are more palatable than tradition forage rapes for cattle and sheep. They hybrid has been used in food plots for deer as well as upland game birds; when planted beside Dwarf Essex Rape animals will start eating the Bayou first.

Cover crop: In preliminary trials, the tap root of Bayou looked very promising for opening up the soil, similar to radish. When planted in late summer or early fall, Bayou is considerably more winter hardy than radish; this helps protect the soil longer from erosion. Initial observations show that when Bayou was grown for cover it reduced Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome and possibly reduced white mold.

  Bayou Kale on the left, African Forage Cabbage on the right. Grazed by sheep, picture was taken approximately 8 days after the sheep were removed. Both are recovering well, although the sheep preferred the Bayou Kale.

Bayou Kale on the left, African Forage Cabbage on the right. Grazed by sheep, picture was taken approximately 8 days after the sheep were removed. Both are recovering well, although the sheep preferred the Bayou Kale.