Whether you run a small local syndicate or a large estate shoot it is important to produce good, reliable crops that provide plenty of shelter, cover and seed.
These crops grow well in most soil types.
When to sow
Most game crops are spring sown after frost risk has passed to provide cover and feed from late summer. Start planting the mixes of millet, maize, kale, sunflowers and canary grass in mid April, with dwarf sorghum better if drilled in May or June. The only exception is the quick-growing Retrieve Mixture or fast growing brassicas like radish, mustard and interval/redstart which can be drilled anytime from April to September if there is sufficient soil moisture.
Longer term mixtures including species like kale, will last for 2 years as well as more permanent species like canary grass which will provide cover for many years.
How to sow
A well worked weed-free seedbed is required, aim to create several flushes of weeds which can be sprayed off or cultivated before sowing. Large seeds such as maize, sunflower and sorghum are usually drilled but small seeded species such as kale and mustard may be broadcast and well rolled.
Brassica species are especially prone to attack from flea beetle, this should be monitored in the first 6 weeks of crop emergence. Herbicide tolerant mixtures are available depending on weed burden etc, call to discuss
Game crops require P and K levels to be ADAS Index 2 and benefit from 20-50kg N/ha in the seed bed or an application once establsihed. Alternatively the site should be spread with FYM before sowing in the spring.
Date Posted: 21st January 2018