All currently existing beet species are descended from wild beets. The dining, sugar, fodder and leaf (Mangold) species have a different purpose, appearance and method of cultivation. The fodder beet, to which this article is devoted, is grown for livestock. It is easy to cultivate, but has its own nuances. The material described below will highlight all the features, the method of growing and storage of fodder beet.
What is fodder beet?
Fodder beet is a separate type of beet used as livestock feed. Root vegetables are medium or large in size. The color is red, but some varieties are orange or light in color. After full ripening, the root crop can look out of the ground by 2/3 due to which it is convenient to harvest the crop by mechanical or runic method.
On the photo fodder beet
The plant is thick. In one outlet can grow up to 40 leaves! The leaves are egg-shaped, large and glossy, green. Fodder beet blooms with whorls (buds). Peduncles thick, durable. In each peduncle may be 2-6 small yellow-green flowers.
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There are four types of beets used in cooking, agriculture or production. And although there are not many species, not everyone knows what their differences are and what they are intended for. Most often, young farmers are interested in the question of what fodder beet is different from sugar beet.
Forage beet plant photo
- Fodder beet is grown from the XVIII century. It is used for feeding livestock. It is indispensable in agriculture and is in great demand among farmers, because for animals it is a valuable food additive especially in the winter period. A rather stiff pulp contains a lot of protein, unlike sugar. The color of the tuber is red or orange, the shape can be oval or rounded. It is grown simply and always gives high yields.
- Sugar beet is grown to produce sugar. After processing this vegetable, there remains the cake that goes to feed livestock. However, in its pure form it can not be fed to animals! It has a white or beige root color, elongated shape. The plant is always green with an abundance of leaves in each outlet, located on long petioles. The flesh is sweet, saturated, unlike fodder.
As you can see, these two types of beets are fundamentally different, both externally and in taste, purpose. They are difficult to confuse, if at least once seen with my own eyes.
Fodder beet varieties
Varieties of beet photo
Fodder beets are grown worldwide. There are many different varieties, but the best ones include only some that are distinguished by high yields, sizes of root crops, and resistance to diseases and illnesses.
- "Record Poly" ripens in 115-124 days. Root crops grow well and can reach 5 kg! The shape of the beet is cylindrical, it looks at least 2/3 above the ground. Recommended for manual cleaning. The peel from red to pink - closer to the flower brightens. The flesh is pale pink. Productivity per hectare of planting 900-1200 centners. Advantages: resistance to bolting, disease. Stored without any problems.
- "Lada" - high-yielding variety. Up to 1,720 centners of high-quality harvest are collected per hectare! Harvesting beets is relatively simple, but with manual harvesting you have to make a little effort to get a root vegetable. The flesh is light, with a high content of juice. Longevity model.
- "Ekkendorfskaya yellow" - hybrid beet. Ripens in 110-135 days. Root crops up to 20 cm long, large, weighing 880-1750 g. The color of the root is yellow, and the flesh is closer to white. Easy to pull out when cleaning. Productivity 1000 kg / ha and more. Vintage high quality, transportable. Advantages: resistance to cold, low humidity, tsvetushnosti. Up to 90% shelf life.
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Plant fodder beets in the pre-fertilized soil. It must be fine-grained, loose, soft, otherwise the plant will be difficult to develop. Seeds before using for sowing should be kept in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for 30 minutes. It disinfects them.
Beetroot grows well in nutrient soilInteresting! It is not necessary to use growth stimulants for seed treatment. Fodder beet is a strong, hardy plant that germinates and develops well without stimulants.
Fodder beets are planted from the second half of March to early April. If the cold lingered and the spring is very cold, then you can postpone planting until May, but it is not worthwhile to delay it strongly, because the period of culture ripening is not short. At the time of planting, the ground should be heated to +7 degrees Celsius at a depth of 10 cm.
Seeds are sown in rows arranged with an interval of 60 cm. Seeding depth is 3 cm. 1-2 cm are left between individual seeds. This is sufficient if subsequent thinning is carried out, and if not, the seeds are laid with a distance of 25 cm. sowing the beds covered with earth and compacted hands. The first shoots appear after 1-1.5 weeks.
On average, fodder beets ripen in 110-150 days. This is a frost-resistant plant that can germinate even at -5 degrees Celsius. Growing this type of beet is quite simple. She is picky and growing fast.
Watering and feeding beets
- Watering for beet requires abundant. Especially in the first weeks of seed germination and during the development of root crops. Per square meter of beds consumed at a time up to 30 liters of water. But when the beets grow to normal size (September), watering stops.
- Ridges from time to time weed so that the earth is not taken a dense crust. Only in the presence of loose soil to the roots get the necessary nutrients. And, in addition, weeding is an excellent prevention from fungal diseases and pests.
- To root fully developed it is necessary to spud beets. The protruding part of the fruit above the ground must be at least partially closed. So, as necessary, the ground is set on fire.
- Fully beetle cannot grow with dense planting. Therefore, after the appearance of 2 leaves, it is necessary to start thinning it. The first time between sprouts is left up to 5 cm of free space, the second time (after a month) - up to 7 cm of space, and the third time (in August) is pulled out after one plant. Torn small tubers can be used to feed animals in the fall, and the total yield in the ground can reach maximum size.
- You can get a full crop of fodder beets even in poor land, if you conduct top dressing in time. It is easier and more profitable to use mineral mixtures (azophoska, nitrophoska), they quickly decompose and are absorbed by plants. Bring them every 3 weeks between the rows, after watering or heavy rain.
- Spraying is carried out from pests and diseases if a problem has appeared, although many farmers make preventive treatments. To do this, use specialized insecticides ("Atom", "Denadim Power", "Borey", etc.), fungicides ("Dr. Crop", "Albit", "Benomil", etc.) or folk remedies.
How to store fodder beets?
The yield of fodder beets can reach up to 1,100 centners per hectare. In growing it is simple. Harvested roots usually have a presentable appearance, and can be immediately used for their intended purpose or sent for sale.
Feed beets on the garden
Understanding when you can harvest can be on the appearance of the culture. Root crops are usually quite large at the time of collection. The plant begins to fade or turn yellow, individual leaves dry and fall off. So, checking the status of the tops, you can determine the time of harvesting beets. In any case, it is necessary to collect the beets before the first frost. This is usually done from late September to mid-October.
Collect fodder beets with shovels, beet lifters, combines, potato diggers. After harvesting sorted. All bad, damaged tubers must be set aside separately in order to be the first to use. Good beets are packed in bags or nets and placed in storage (suitable cellar, basement). Often, fodder beets are stored in piles, if there is no place in the cellar.
Who are fed lump beets?
Mainly beet feed feed livestock, namely those animals that give milk. This is an important part of the diet of cows, goats, sheep. Animals love her very much and eat with great pleasure. From a physical point of view, this is a useful supplement, it increases milk yield, compensates for the lack of vitamins in the winter period, normalizes fat metabolism, improves digestion.
Beets give cows only after heat treatment
For some other types of pets, it is also suitable. It is necessary for horses and pigs in the winter, very often it is also included in the feeding of rabbits, poultry (chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys). Animals can eat not only the roots, but also the tops. Before feeding the vegetable is chopped and added to the mash or give separately.