“Farmers can take full benefit of ‘added value’ cover and catch crops after harvest to maximise the benefit to their soils”, says Limagrain’s Martin Titley. “Soil is one of the most valued assets and it is important for growers to make good cropping choices that will help to improve its properties.”
The new publication highlights the advantages of specific crops and mixtures that will improve soil structure, weed suppression, nematode control and fertiliser use. It also offers a guide to the choice of crops in each category and to their husbandry.
Also included is Limagrain’s new range of crop mixtures that meet the Government’s new greening rules for ecological focus areas – EFAs.
“We have designed these mixtures very carefully to offer advantages over and above simply meeting the Government’s new greening rules,” adds Mr Titley.
He refers to both the catch and cover crop rules which will also help blackgrass control, and lift and hold nitrogen to prevent leaching over winter.
Included are three unique mixtures that can be used for EFA catch or cover crops.
The first, Sprinter, is a mixture of Black Oat Silke and Vetch and is an ideal catch crop, due to its especially fast establishment. “This is especially fast to establish so it is ideal for drilling early, making it a good catch crop option where establishment must be by August 31 each year and retained until at least until October 1,” says Mr Titley. And it is an especially good weed suppressant mixture that can help reduce blackgrass levels.
The second Limagrain EFA catch and cover crop mixture, Lift n Fix, also contains Vetch along with the winter rye Humbolt. “We’ve developed this mixture for those looking for a winter hardy cover crop with effective nitrogen lifting ability Humbolt is one of the best crops available for lifting and holding nitrogen.” Cover crops can be established by 1 October but must be retained until at least January 15.
With soil organic content being high on the agenda for many farmers, we have developed Soil Improver. This mixture has a high proportion of winter oats, lucerne, mustard and phacelia which gives a crop with a root structure for different soil profiles and retains moisture that can be used by the following crop.
Sowing details for the new range of Limagrain EFA catch and cover crops, along with fallow land, buffer strip and undersowing options, are included in Limagrain’s Soil Improvement Solutions brochure available from Emily Short on 01472 370117.