Co-seeding in rape: reduce weeds and increase sustainability

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BayWa AG

On Monday, 05/23/2022 – 07:07

Due to the current market situation with rising prices for oilseeds, rapeseed cultivation is becoming more and more attractive. In terms of a sustainable cultivation strategy, legumes are particularly convincing as an accompanying culture with their numerous advantages. Due to their rapid ground cover and the suppression of weeds, potential savings in pesticides and fertilizers are possible. Due to a synthesis of up to 30 kg/N per ha, there is also an enormous savings potential here given the currently very high fertilizer costs. Rapeseed varieties such as LG ACTIVUS, which are particularly strong and competitive, are particularly suitable for cultivating rapeseed together with companion crops.
Since 2020, Germany has been the most important rapeseed producer in the EU. With a total rapeseed harvest of 3,781,000 t4, Germany remains the leader. Market prices are currently at a significant high. A further increase in acreage in Germany is therefore to be expected.

Weed control in transition

In terms of sustainable management and the lack of approval for existing and new active ingredients, it is important to break new ground in the herbicide strategy. Especially in autumn there is the possibility of mechanical weed control by hoeing or weeding. In addition, the emergence of weeds can be suppressed naturally by sowing companion plants.
Cultivation of winter oilseed rape with accompanying plants – natural weed suppression

Sow co-seeding and reap benefits

Nitrogen supply by legumes Reduction of nutrient leaching and transfer Fast and intensive soil cover and root penetration improve the soil structure and the soil's carrying capacity Reduction of weed load Promotion of the humus content Less evaporation due to soil shading
Co-sowing or under-sowing in winter oilseed rape can reduce weed pressure and increase biodiversity. In order to use these advantages effectively, the appropriate underseed mixture must be selected for the main crop, rapeseed.

Defy the high fertilizer prices

For sowing companion plants in oilseed rape, we particularly recommend a mixture of tiger clover and low-growing white and Persian clover. If the mixture consists of at least 80% legumes, these co-seeding components can synthesize up to 30 kg N into the cultivation system.1 This fertilizer saving through the natural replenishment of nitrogen can increase significantly due to the currently high fertilizer prices and the lower need for purchased fertilizer affect the profitability of your own business.

© BayWa AG

Tips for sowing companion crops

In general, the stronger and more competitive the rape, the easier it is to deal with co-seeding. Sowing should take place immediately after a hoe or harrow pass in order to be able to minimize weed pressure right from the start. Technically, this can be done with a weeder immediately before or after the emergence of the rape, or with a pneumatic spreader before the immediate row closure, or with a sowing drone. Caution: The more careful and precise the sowing, the higher the chances of the accompanying cultures establishing themselves. When choosing sowing timing, it is important to remember that early sowing makes it easier for companion plants to become established before the oilseed rape covers the soil and reduces available sunlight.
We recommend the LG ACTIVUS variety as a particularly competitive rapeseed variety.
LG ACTIVUS – the optimal variety for sustainable rapeseed cultivation, also organic
LG ACTIVUS is considered a strong and competitive variety, particularly because of its good pre-winter development and excellent winter hardiness. The medium-length growth type not only impresses with its high stability, but also with a high degree of yield security and is equipped with a broad resistance package. The high nutrient efficiency of the LG ACTIVUS results in a top market performance. In the BayWa internal exact tests in winter oilseed rape 2021, LG ACTIVUS came off as the best winter oilseed rape variety. He has also presented himself with top results in the LSV and will also be in the state variety trials nationwide in 2022. In the federal variety trials 2021, the variety achieved first place in grain and oil yield as well as in market performance and was given the best marks in grain and oil yield (BSA grade 9) by the Federal Plant Variety Office.

© BayWa AG

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