Sowing: tips for rapid and uniform emergence
- Sowing: It is advised to sow oilseed rape at a depth of 2 cm in a seedbed, to enable retention of soil moisture. If soil is compacted, and provided there is no risk of slugs, it is recommended to sow at a depth of up to 20 cm. To do so, it is essential to prepare the soil just after the harvest of a preceding crop.
- Weather conditions: Oilseed rape requires some cold conditions at initial stage development. Thus, the main challenge is to find an optimum sowing window (between mid-August and mid-September). Sowing before rainfall is preferred, except in the case of compact silt chalky soil.
- Soil: For clay soil, rolling after sowing is essential to retain soil moisture. For compact silt chalky soil, it is not recommended to sow in proximity to rainfall.
- Weed control: Mechanical weed control - recommended after emergence in dry weather conditions. Herbicide application -at a post-sowing/pre-emergence stage.
- Plant population: The aim is to establish a target plant population of 30 to 35 plants/m2 . Care must be taken to avoid excessive plant population, as they are associated with reductions in yield (elongation and strong tab roots).
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