Swedes were introduced to the British Isles around 1775-1780 by Sweden. In much of the world the swede known as the ‘Rutabaga’, a corruption of the Swedish for ‘swollen root’, whilst in Scotland, of course we know them as ‘neeps’.

Swedes are best grown in areas where the climate is cool and moist, a well-grown crop can produce up to 80-90 tonnes of feed per hectare. The roots are very high in metabolisable energy and are ideal for finishing or winter maintenance.

Sowing time is May to early-June, with crops ready to graze from October to February. Seed is available in both natural and graded formats and comes with a Flea Beetle seed treatment.

There are some fantastic varieties to choose from; Gowrie and Lomond are both high yielding and combine Powdery Mildew resistance with Clubroot tolerance. Invitation has gained a reputation as a high yielding variety suitable for later use. They were all bred by The James Hutton Institute at Invergowrie, as part of a jointly funded project with Limagrain UK.

Why not grow a crop - you may be surprised at the outcome!