“This is the ideal opportunity to review cropping for the 2018/19 season,” says Limagrain’s Martin Titley, who reports that the latest results from the company’s gamecover and conservation crop trials on its site near Lincoln will help in selecting the ‘best crops for the job’.
“This year, the plots of millets produced exceptional seed yields and merit consideration, particularly when grown with or alongside maize,” he says. “Reed millets, blended with red and white millets, produce a more winter hardy stand and provide an abundance of bird feed, which helps to prevent the birds from roaming.”
Dwarf grain sorghum is another cover crop that Mr Titley considers a valuable addition to the cover crop mix due to its dense winter hardy cover and its ability to provide a windbreak and ‘warmth’ when grown alongside maize.
“Results from our demonstration plots show that the dwarf sorghum Shorty stood up to this year’s winter and contributed to the crop structure in many of the mixtures,” he adds.
Cover crop mixtures, that can be grown under one of the Countryside Stewardship options, are highlighted in the HiBird 2018 brochure. These include a range of wild bird seed mixtures and offer shoots a great way of introducing cover crops that are also eligible for the Countryside Stewardship scheme.
Also eligible for the scheme are the HiBird pollinator mixtures and grass buffer and field margin mixtures.
“We’ve also included a comprehensive guide of the Countryside Stewardship options in the latest brochure, and we’ve cross-referenced each crop to the particular option or options it applies to,” adds Mr Titley. “This gives land managers a very clear guide to the scheme and the choice of crops, depending on their land type and purpose.”
Details of the latest offers, introduced in January 2018, that are now available through the scheme are detailed in the HiBird brochure. “We want to highlight these new offers as they cover the full range of farm types enabling farmers and managers to deliver environmental benefits whatever their farm type. More streamlined evidence checks and the shorter application forms that are now being used should also make the scheme more attractive.”
Limagrain’s HiBird Gamecover and Conservation Crops brochure 2018 is available from Emily Short on 01472 370117 or firstname.lastname@example.org or downloaded below