Cover crop options please

benny6910

Member
Arable Farmer
Sorry if this is in the wrong section but I’m looking for options for a cover crop to put on some fallow land that didn’t get sown with winter beans last autum. Half the field is beans so I’m looking for something to sow that will be deep rooting like the beans. Not mustard as possibly still got osr in the rotation. Also when is best to sow the cover crop? Land is medium to heavy and main weeds are crainsbill small amounts of blackgrass. Thanks in advance ben.
 

Charles Quick

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Somerset
vetch, sunflowers and phacelia. Maybe some millet
The sunflowers are great for rooting and huge biomass potential.
Phacelia for the bees
Millet and other C4 grasses pump loads of sugary root exudates into the soil.

All except the Phacelia can be bought cheaply as bird seed.

Pictures of a similar mix I did last year which we opened up to the public
 

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Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Just plant vetch... terminate it at the same time as your beans and dont pay extra to mix other seeds unless someone is paying you... your winter wheat will thank you for it KeepItSimpleStupid... also ignore salesmen or base farmers!!!
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Sunflowers lock up nitrogen and phacelia comes back as a weed and millet!! Oh dear!! Lovely pictures!! Shows a complete lack of nitrogen efficency to me...
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Those pictures show a farm that has failed to hit the wall yet.. the time will come... vetch vetch vetch
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Smug twit... the thread requested a simple answer... surely your seed salesman has been lifting your leg for 24 years?? Ok i give in ... plant vetch.. sunflowers and phacelia.
After 24 yrs experience Charles has cracked it and is clearly very wealthy
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Yes it is fine on its own unless you want to be clever.. in which case i give up!! 30kg per Ha max..
 

benny6910

Member
Arable Farmer
I want it to be cheap and deep rooting that’s all I ask. I shall get some prices tomorrow for some seed thanks.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
Vetch can be a pain in the following wheat...the seed (tares in the Bible) is very hard to separate from wheat grain, you need a colour separator. Or spray it out, but that's more expence. Thistles and dandelions are good and cheap deep rooters...
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Oh yeah.. good point... weeds sound like a genius solution or you could just terminate your vetch with a set of discs before it sets seed... seed is expensive .. you might choose not to...
 

benny6910

Member
Arable Farmer
A bit late now but why didn’t you just plant spring beans ? No cheaper/simpler cover crop than a cash crop …
In my opinion there is little chemical control in spring beans for weeds and I don’t want to be cutting them in October. Winter beans can be late enough to cut for me liking.
 

ben__adamss

Member
BASE UK Member
Plenty of summer cover crop options for around £20/ha, chuck some home saved stuff with it as well to make it cheaper. Don't let it seed
 

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
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