Plenty of time to plant a green cover
There is still plenty of time to plant cover crops. Whether you are a participant in the Green Low-Carbon Agriculture Emissions Scheme (GLAS) or not, a green cover is a great way of catching nutrients in the soil and preventing over winter losses.
The old phrase a day in July, a week in August and a month in September, still rings true so maybe have a look to fast establishing crops at this time of the year. Brassica crops are quick to get off the ground, but watch out when sowing these crops in a rotation with oilseed rape.
Different species will also have different types of roots which can help to improve soil structure.Also Read: Catch crops: Getting down to the roots
Remember, GLAS participants should sow by September 15 and must sow a mix of two crops.
While mixed species create more bio-diversity, it is important to remember that planting a cover crop is better than sowing none. Plant a crop that suits your system – whether there’s one species or 12 it will be an improvement on bare stubble.
Here’s a reminder of the choices and seed rates.
- Buckwheat: (30-40kg/ha);
- Clover – crimson/berseem: (10-15kg/ha);
- Forage rape: (3-5kg/ha);
- Mustard: (6-10kg/ha);
- Oats: (75-100kg/ha);
- Black oats: (75-100kg/ha);
- Phacelia: (2-5kg/ha);
- Rye: (65-80kg/ha);
- Tillage raddish: (5kg/ha);
- Vetch: (12kg/ha);
- Leafy turnip: (5kg/ha);
- Peas: (30kg/ha);
- Beans: (90-100kg/ha).
Cover crops sown as part of GLAS cannot be grazed, sprayed off or inverted until December 1.