Oats Phacelia grazing cover crop

Samcowman

Member
Location
Wiltshire
After a bit of advise off of anyone with a bit more experience.
Currently looking at options for some ground we have cut for rape which is next door to some grazing for our sucklers and could hopefully use the arable to grow a bit of autumn feed for the cows before it gets planted into wheat.
Has anyone used oats with possibly Phacelia as a quick turnaround catch crop to be grazed? Are there any pitfalls from doing this I should be aware of?
 

foxbox

Member
Location
West Northants
Black oats and phacelia are being used quite a bit at the Lamport blackgrass trials but they're spraying it off in late November/December in front of spring drilling with what appears to be quite a bit of success. They said the key was early establishment; they're also keeping seed rates down to give room for the BG to germinate but the key really was getting it in and up early.

Doesn't really answer your question though I'm afraid!
 

Great In Grass

Member
Location
Cornwall.
A grazing CC we do quite a bit of which can be grazed contains Fodder Radish, Berseem Clover, Spring Vetch & Phacelia the customer then adds Oats, keeps the mix to a very reasonable cost.
 

Samcowman

Member
Location
Wiltshire
Thanks guys. I can get some oats quite cheap as we don’t grow any ourselves at the moment. I was thinking something like a berseem clover but not sure whether it will be fixing any nitrogen by the time it’s grazed at the start of October and I would get more benefit from just Phacelia.
 

foxbox

Member
Location
West Northants
When used in an arable cover crop or alongside OSR I'm told the berseem clover is there to scavenge nitrogen that would otherwise leach rather than fix any itself. The idea with OSR is that after chucking your autumn N on the burseem clover roots to depth quickly and catches the N missed by the OSR, turning it into top growth. When the clover dies in the frost it effectively deposits the N back on the surface, by the time it's broken down and mobile again hopefully the OSR is growing and uses the N on it's second attempt.

It's a great theory, not sure if it's ever been quantified in terms of N leaching reductions but the point is (as you say) it's not fixing atmospheric N to the same extent red or white clover would be at other times of the year.
 

tw15

Member
Location
DORSET
I do my own mix just like Great in grass has said but don't put the clover in . I might try some this year, defo chuck a bit of fodder raddish 2-3kg/ha . I like playing with mix's to see how it all works out for the stock .
 

Samcowman

Member
Location
Wiltshire
I do my own mix just like Great in grass has said but don't put the clover in . I might try some this year, defo chuck a bit of fodder raddish 2-3kg/ha . I like playing with mix's to see how it all works out for the stock .
Would the radish do enough in 2 months to be worth putting in. The ground would definitely benefit from the radish doing a bit of work on it.
 

tw15

Member
Location
DORSET
Put a fadder raddish in they put on more top usually do a mix of daikon/fodder raddish to get a bit from each .
 

britt

Member
I use forage rye rather than oats. It's good feed, it depends whether you will get enough extra grazing to cover the extra seed cost. It grows fast and will stand taller than oats, so easier for cattle to graze.
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
We are trying fodder radish and oats this year for sheep ---might not get sown until mid August but hoping to graze from mid Nov through to early March
Not having grown fodder radish before i'm wondering how frost hardy it will be and if i am better allocating it to fattening lambs or breeding ewes? Any thoughts??
 

britt

Member
Turnips will give you more feed than fodder radish. Rye more and better quality feed than oats.
The only advantage with radish is less clubroot risk if you have other brassicas in the rotation.
 

pom

New Member
What's fodder radish like for flea beetle,as I am organic and last year we lost most of the turnips. It looks like oats and ? Will be best but what?
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
Turnips will give you more feed than fodder radish. Rye more and better quality feed than oats.
The only advantage with radish is less clubroot risk if you have other brassicas in the rotation.
That's why we are using raddish rather than turnips
Oats is what we have rather than buy rye
 

Samcowman

Member
Location
Wiltshire
Used rye last year in a cover crop. Can’t get it yet and when it does come available it will be too expensive so oats will do the job fine.
Got round to making the order today which was Oats, Phacelia and Peas. Hopefully get it drilled end of the week beginning of next week. Stayed away from any brassica because of the massive flea beetle problem around here. The grain store is crawling with them after the rape has come in.
 
We are trying fodder radish and oats this year for sheep ---might not get sown until mid August but hoping to graze from mid Nov through to early March
Not having grown fodder radish before i'm wondering how frost hardy it will be and if i am better allocating it to fattening lambs or breeding ewes? Any thoughts??
Not very frost hardy, Tim.
They handle light frosts but a decent run of real frosts sees them off. However they establish bloody fast, ie 10 weeks to first grazing, and if you don't hit them too hard they'll have the ability to be grazed monthly.
A few guys here are using Raphno for both purposes; finish mobs of lambs in them all summer and use the ewes to clean up pasture, then autumn/winter feed the ewes on them (in cells) to allow pasture recovery for lambing.
Seems to work for them, easy to establish, eg we generally just spin them on with a bit of DAP or similar as a second crop after swedes/kale/leafy turnip or WHY.

Growing lower yielding crops tends to have much less impact on the soil if managed right, rather than "one hit wonders"
 

Forum statistics

Threads
157,788
Messages
3,606,229
Members
39,873
Latest member
children

Route to zero farm emissions by 2040

  • 109
  • 0


Written by Jamie Day

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has set out its plans for achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rom British Agriculture by 2040 – a decade ahead of the government’s ambition for the whole UK economy. NFU president Minette Batters first announced the net zero by 2040 goal at this year’s Oxford Farming Conference in […]

The post...
Top