Keeping oilseed rape crops in top condition as they go through stem extension is critical to ensure they can access all the nutrients they need during and after this rapid growth phase.
Lack of available phosphorus is a concern at this timing for Northamptonshire/Cambridgeshire Agrovista agronomist Rob Sheets.
″Most of this essential nutrient is bound up as insoluble phosphate compounds on calcareous soils so crops can run short,″ says Rob. ″In addition, due to the price of bagged phosphate, fewer growers have applied the nutrient to this year’s crop.″
Last autumn he used Luxor and Calfite Extra in oilseed rape and will use it again this springs on smaller, backward crops.
Luxor is a nutrient-biostimulant product that delivers foliar phosphorus and also contains humic and fulvic acids to stimulate soil biology, which maximises the availability of other nutrients. Additional L-PGA (pidolic acid) increases nitrogen assimilation within the plant.
Calfite Extra a foliar nutrient complex that contains calcium phosphite. It tricks the plant into reacting as if it were deficient in phosphorus, stimulating root and biomass growth and the production of exudates that feed soil biology.
″I adopted an autumn programme with four different customers, applying Luxor and Calfite Extra at the three to four-leaf stage of the crop to stimulate crop growth,″ says Rob.
″This is a very cost-effective way of getting as much root growth as possible. Most growers apply a bit of straight nitrogen during the key establishment phase, but adding Luxor and Calfite Extra did a better job. Plants have big strong stems and roots – they look very healthy.
″I really like this idea of getting phosphate into these crops. I’m recommending it at stem extension on crops that look like they could do with a helping hand.″
Leicestershire-based colleague Daniel Knight is also using Luxor and Calfite Extra to help crops access the phosphorus they need.
″Luxor is ideally suited where phosphorus is in high demand at a specific timing – stem extension is one of these,″ says Daniel. ″Luxor delivers phosphorus to the plant quickly and in a highly effective way due to its formulation and loading, and helps to drive all-important rooting and alleviate growth stage-related nutrient challenges.″
Oilseed rape is a lazy rooter, he adds. ″Calfite Extra can be useful where soil phosphorus reserves are plentiful but where roots are too small to make best use of them.
″I also use Calfite Extra on cereals, maize and beans. It has become an integral part for a range of crops and farming systems in helping build the all-important foundations. Whether the aim is driving high yields, improving nutrient uptake and use efficiency or alleviating compromised rooting, Calfite delivers a cost-effective solution.″
Agrovista agronomist Martin Foster, who looks after crops across Scotland’s central belt, is advising his customers to apply Terra-Sorb Foliar Extra this spring to maintain crop potential. This product contains 21 plant-based amino acids, the building blocks of protein, in a readily available form, as well as trace elements.
″We applied the product to many crops last autumn so they went into winter in good shape. To build on that momentum I’m recommending a further application at 1-1.5 litres/ha depending on the autumn dose.
″This can be applied with the second light leaf spot spray plus growth regulator at the start of stem extension,″ says Martin.
″We’ve been doing this for five to six years and it’s been a real eye opener in terms of crop health, resulting in stronger crops with an extended flowering period, helping to maximise seed numbers and pod set.″
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