Harvested cereal crops open way for forage crop opportunities


Your latest fertiliser advice in this Yara-sponsored series of articles…


As cereal crops are harvested this opens up a number of options for a forage crop. Two examples of crops often established now are stubble turnips and forage rape.

The former are an ideal crop for producing rapid forage for grazing by cows or sheep. Within 3 – 4 months a crop will beready for grazing.

Forage rape is less popular but nonetheless represents an opportunity to get some more homegrown feed, especially where autumn grass becomes limiting. In view also of the likely higher value of bought in feed have a review of your requirements and take the appropriate action.

In a year where the wet soils are going to be fragile reduce cultivation for establishment to a minimum otherwise compaction will reduce root development. Ideally soils should be free draining as these will be more suited to grazing animals.

With the excessive rainfall soils are likely to be empty of nitrogen and with these crops responding well to applications of fertilizer ensure that you are supplying the crops requirement.

These high biomass crops also have a high demand for potash so correct any imbalance with a suitable grade of N, P and K. Too much nitrogen will be detrimental to grazing animals so do not over do the dressing.

Depending on soil index levels the crop needs around 80 – 100 kg N/ha, 40-50 kg P2O5/ha, and 50 – 100 kg K2O/ha.