Rapid establishment has always been important for oilseed rape and a starter fertiliser can help achieve this.
Good establishemnt increases oilseed yield
Adequate nutrition is vital for good establishment and the application of both nitrogen and phosphate in the autumn should be routine yet less than a third of the UK oilseed crop receives any autumn fertiliser. These autumn applications are beneficial to the overall development of the crop, not just the speed of establishment.
Results from trials over the last two seasons have confirmed that crops receiving autumn starter fertilisers established better and developed quicker with significantly higher plant stands and crop biomass, resulting in some cases of up to 1.4t/ha yield increases.
The optimum rates of autumn nitrogen of 50-60kg N/ha are higher than permitted under NVZ regulations, however, targeted ‘placement’ of nutrients allows this rate to be applied within the row whilst still meeting the overall NVZ limits.
Starter fertilisers supply the nutrients needed for crop establishment
Autumn phosphate is another key nutrient which is important for root development and helps to improve the speed of development.
Phosphate has a role in the development of shoots and in particular roots and this is why a sufficient supply is key in the early stages of a crop’s life - establishing that root network in order to access water and other nutrients. Generally the level of P required at this early stage is low, an Index 1 or above soil will supply enough to the seed for it to establish.
However, cool soil temperatures will adversely affect phosphorus availability more than any other nutrient and with many growers considering delaying drilling, particularly for blackgrass control, these later drilled crops are more likely to suffer from low P availability. It is therefore essential that nutrients are in the right place at the right time through targeted fertiliser application.
Yara liquid fertiliser grades such as CHAFER 18-27-0 + Boron are ideal for use as osr starter fertilisers or there is a wide range of other liquid or solid grades to allow a range of nitrogen and phosphate rates to be applied for autumn drilled OSR crops.
The following liquid fertilisers are recommended for autumn application as starter fertilisers to enhance oilseed rape establishment