Tillage Newsletter - February 2022
14 February 2022
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In this month's edition:
- Spring beans
Bean crops were very much a mixed bag in 2021, with some growers achieving yields of between 5.5 and 6.0 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), while in other parts yields were as low as 2.5t/ha. There is likely to be increased interest in growing beans again this year based on the lower fertiliser and input costs.
- Oilseed rape
Many oilseed rape crops had very large canopies before Christmas but many of these are now smaller and have a lower green area index (GAI) than previously, due to either the plant growth regulator effect or pigeon grazing, or both. Therefore, all efforts to stop pigeons grazing in the coming weeks need to be deployed or the canopy will be grazed further.
- Cover crops
There are many thoughts on the best way to destroy cover crops at this time of year. Depending on the crop type or how well it has grown or the drilling system, there are various ways of dealing with the destruction of the crop. Many farmers have opted to graze them off with light cattle and sheep. This is a very good way of recycling the crop and nutrients back into the ground; however, it is not without its risks to soil structure.