The practice of applying a dose of fertiliser when establishing oilseed rape isn’t a new one but it appears to be making something of a comeback with a number of companies offering both liquid and granule applicators at the Cereals event.

Targeted towards those already sowing rape off the back of a sub-soiler, the principle is simple:

Apply fertiliser in a band ahead of each soil-loosening leg and the seed sown in its shadow will have ready access to an early dose of critical nutrients. In this way, the young plants go into winter looking strong and have a better chance of resisting a hammering from pigeons, slugs and spring drought.

First previewed in FW (1 May), the Opico NitroJet comes in 600, 800 and 1000-litre formats and can be fitted to a range of machines. A 700-litre/min pump provides a self-fill facility and supplies nozzles running in front of the legs with a steady stream of fertiliser. It costs £9904.

Techneat is well-known for its range of specialist granule and liquid applicators. For a number of years the company has been building 600-litre and 1000-litre liquid fertiliser rigs for use on potato planters. The company has simply adapted the unit for use on a sub-soiler and employs is own Robydome rate controller which uses a signal from either a GPS receiver or a magnetic speed sensor. Prices start from £5000.

Like Techneat, Chafer has experience with liquid fertiliser applicators for use on potato kit and has adapted the same machines for mounting on to a sub-soiler or front-linkage. Fitted with an electronic rate controller, the 1000-litre unit costs £6500.