• Philip

Catch or cover crops are they worth the effort?

In reality will they make things worse that they already are within your field or crop rotation?

For some cereal farmers Take All is about to become a problem in their 20/21 crop and for Oil Seed Rape growers its club root. Is your catch crop going to increase the risk still further?

There are many plant families to choose a Catch crop from; it may be an individual crops type or a mixture of families.

When you consider the facts and not the glossy catalogue on your desk you will find there are only two plant families to choose from and 5 individual crop types outside of these which are “low risk.”

Of the 5, Buckwheat, Phacelia and Annual ryegrass are your best choice although they too pose an element of risk to your rotation and should therefore be actively managed.

All the others bring rotational dis-advantages which means an increased RISK of soil borne pests and diseases to the crop that you are trying to help. When that occurs you end up with an increased cost, no advantage to the following crop and ultimately a smaller margin at the end of the year.

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