Two season’s UK trials with an Italian starter fertiliser have proved promising in helping establish oilseed rape, according to ProCam’s Ian Jackson.
Umostart Super Zn microgranules, containing nitrogen, phosphate and zinc, have been used successfully to stimulate root growth in maize and other crops for about 10 years in other countries, he noted.
“The problem with winter rape is that it gets to the one true leaf stage and then tends to run out of steam until roots really get going. Colder weather then sets in, pigeons start having a go and you can lose three weeks of growth.”
Techneat has developed its Microcast unit to feed the material directly into drills’ venturi seed flows.
Farm trials in 2007 and 2008 applying the recommended 10kg/ha at a cost of £26/ha had produced higher yields than the traditional approach of using 30-40kg/ha of N to encourage rooting, said Mr Jackson.