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Companion roots for better OSR

By Tom Allen-Stevens

Tom Allen-Stevens

Growers placing orders for oilseed rape seed have been urged to consider adding in a companion crop.

Results of Agrovista trials currently on show at open days indicate OSR produces a better looking, healthier crop if planted with berseem clover.

“Those growers who have come to the sites and viewed the plots have seen the difference for themselves – it’s drawing quite a bit of comment,” notes Agrovista’s Chris Martin.

“At Stoughton, for example, the berseem clover has done as good a job as a subsoiler at improving soil structure and helping the OSR to root – that’s been a real benefit with the poor conditions we’ve had this season.”

Tech Talk in this month’s CPM explores the benefits and agronomy of companion crops. It includes key findings from Agrovista trials and guidance on suitable seed mixes.

“A companion crop can mean the difference between OSR establishing well and crop failure and generally improves establishment,” points out Chris Martin.

There are more details of Agrovista’s trials site open days at

Meanwhile the June issue of CPM has headline stories from Cereals 2016, including details of new chemistry from three manufacturers, the latest on yellow rust and the surprise unveiling of a new self-propelled sprayer.

There’s advice and guidance on new oilseed rape and wheat varieties, with an Insiders View on Dariot and new winter oat variety Maestro. Theory to Field takes a look at the new relative risk grid from AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds.

The machinery section enters the drone zone, with a round-up of the technology and services currently on offer. There’s also an On Farm Opinion on New Holland’s T7 HD tractor and a Horsch Sprinter drill that’s been modified to fit a Controlled Traffic Farming system.

In features, we tell the story of DoubleTop and profile a Sussex-based agronomist with an innovative approach to finding and then communicating the solutions he’s looking for.

Sugar beet varieties and the latest on the impact of the free market on prospects for the crop make up the main focus in the Roots section, so for more agronomy innovations, variety insight and machinery analysis, download the June issue here.


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