Autumn sowing 2015: Interview with AGRAVIS crop cultivation experts

Agriculturists are having a hard time with the extreme weather of the last weeks – first regionally very high temperatures, then heavy thunderstorms with rainfall of up to 150 litres per square meter. Now it is time for autumn sowing. AGRAVIS expert Michael Kleimann has useful hints for rape sowing rape sowing.

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What tips do you have for the regionally still outstanding sowing of rape?

Kleimann: For rape sowing, we recommend to go for fast growing varieties due to the rather late sowing date. Robust and fast growing varieties provide more safety as far as the winter kill risk is concerned as the entire root system and in particle the root neck diameter is still able to achieve the necessary pre-winter development. Varieties such as Atenzo, Attletick, DK Exstorm and Mercedes offer this strong growth.

Does this somewhat later sowing date for winter rape not also offer some advantages?

Kleimann: Yes, an advantage of this somewhat hesitant sowing is that the rather late sowing data reduces the risk of infestation with the small cabbage fly. As this year too, no insecticide dressing is allowed to be used on rape, this will be the most effective method of countering the pest. Last year's infested regions in North and North East Germany have demonstrated that stocks sowed late combined with a slight increase in sowing density (by 5 to 10 percent) were at an advantage.

What needs to be considered this year on account of the weather conditions?

Kleimann: The humid, rainy weather has led to a strong growth of field slugs. At many sites, in particular on heavy soils, a high infestation pressure must be expected. The obligatory scattering of poison along the edges will in many cases not be sufficient. Agriculturists are hoping for a good yield despite more difficult weather conditions. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture assumes a winter rape harvest quantity of nearly five million tons for the past harvest.