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Game cover crops will only reach their full potential if they are well managed right from the start. A successfully managed shoot is both profitable and rewarding to landowners and the local community, as it contributes positively to the countryside and the overall environment. We hope the following notes will help and guide you to a successful establishment of game cover crops; any regional or particular soil conditions have not been taken into consideration as it is preferable to take advantage of local knowledge.
As one of the largest country retailers, you will note that we sell many products in our branches and stores including kale, stubble turnips, swede, rape, fodder beet seed, feeders, drinkers, netting, fence posts, decoys, cartridges, vermin control and a wide range of country clothing all at very competitive prices. We look forward to working with you and hope you enjoy looking through our Brochure.
- Green Manure Selection Advice
- Green Manure Crops
- Miscellaneous Brassicas
- Game Maize
- Millets & Canary Grass
The latest copy of the entire Game Cover Crops can be downloaded here - Game Cover Crops Guide (PDF, 14.6MB).
If you prefer, we are happy to post a copy to you. Please email us to request a copy, remembering to include which guide you are looking for and your name and address, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rotations are essential to help reduce soil-bourne disease such as Club Root in brassicas. A rotational system will also help to improve soil fertility and structure as each crop can benefit the soil in different ways, each requiring different trace elements. Crop rotation is essential where weeds and/or disease have become a persistent problem.
A well prepared seed bed is essential for crop health and development, as a rapidly growing game cover has more chance of resisting pest attack. Generally, ploughing and rapid consoldation to conserve moisture is the ideal start for these crops. Ensure the seed bed is fine and firm to help reduce the risk of slug activity.
Where possible we recommend drilling game cover crops. This ensures accurate seed depth and row width and will provide maximum seed to soil contact that will encourage a speedy establishment. Sowing at the correct row width will also improve bird holding and driving capability. Each growing season is completely different, but try not to sow too early to ensure the soil temperature is warm enough to encourage a quick successful germination.
The stale seed bed technique is a well proven weed control system and allows early control of weeds. The technique involves spraying, ploughing and cultivating to encourage weed seeds to germinate in a first flush, then re-spraying; this can help achieve a clean seed bed. This technique is very useful where mixtures are grown and no herbicide can be recommended.
Mole Valley Forage Services
Having purchased high quality seed it is important that your cover crops have the necessary nutrients available to them.
Analysis of your soil pH and nutrient levels is crucial. Regular soil nutrient testing (at least once every four years) is recommended to ensure levels of Phosphate, Potash, Calcium, Magnesium and Trace Elements are satisfactory.
- pH for nutrient availability
- Nitrogen for plant growth
- Phosphate for rooting
- Potash for plant health
- Calcium for plant strength
Mole Valley Forage Services, at our own blending facility in Devon, produce the widest range of quality fertilisers in the UK.
Mole Valley Forage Services have local Forage Specialists who can conduct soil testing and then ensure that product selection and advice are tailored to your requirements.
Contact the fertiliser helpline on 01769 576232 to discuss your requirements.