Mar. 14, 2023
Oilseed rape crops affected by flea beetle larvae could benefit from an application of Calfite Extra any time between now and flowering, says Midlands-based Agrovista agronomist James Cheney.
″I’ll consider applying Calfite Extra to any oilseed rape crop that looks as though it could do with a helping hand, taking into account what soil tests are telling us and the farm’s organic manure programme,″ says James.
″But I have found it especially useful where I’ve seen flea beetle larvae in stems. While the product has no direct effect on these larvae, it really gets roots growing and can help plants overcome the effects of the attack, setting crops up for stem extension and beyond.″
Calfite Extra contains calcium phosphite, which tricks the plant into reacting as if it were deficient in phosphorus, stimulating root and biomass growth. It also contains L-PGA (pidolic acid) to increase nitrogen assimilation within the plant. It can be safely mixed with a light leaf spot spray to save a pass.
James is also using the product on backward wheat crops at T0, particularly late-drilled second wheats, to help them access much-needed phosphorus, which is critical for root and biomass growth.
For greatest effect he will often add Luxor, a foliar phosphorus product that also contains humic and fulvic acids to stimulate soil biology and maximise nutrient availability.
″Many wheat crops have remained relatively shallow rooted over winter due to a combination of sufficient rainfall after drilling and dry soil at depth,″ says James. ″This could cause problems if soil moisture remains restricted as wheats enter critical growth stages.
″In addition, phosphorus in particular is often locked up in soils, and a lot of people have taken a fertiliser holiday in response to high prices.″
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