Give your crop potential a boost: Oil Seed Rape
Oilseed rape, or in its more popular name Canola, is produced as a source of vegetal oil for the following uses: high dietary quality oil for human consumption (57-63% monounsaturated oil), canola meal as feedstock for animals and production of diesel fuel engines - as a replacement for diesel fuel.
Rapeseed grows best at temperatures of 10-25 °C, while optimum temperature for growth and production is 21 °C. Temperatures below 10 °C result in progressively poorer germination and emergence. During its lifecycle, the plant may be exposed to extreme temperatures, below zero in the winter (in case of autumn sowing) and over 30 °C in summer time. The plant is especially sensitive to heat stress at 27–30 °C during flowering and early pod-set; under drought conditions this can cause even more problems.
The crop grows best in medium-textured soil, but is successful on a wide range of soil textures, such as loam and clay, but sandy soils should be avoided. Soil pH at 5.7–7.0 is optimal. Yields of most cultivars may be markedly reduced, where pH is below 5.5, mainly due to susceptibility to P, Mo and Ca deficiencies. In pH >7.5 and above deficiencies of B, Cu, Fe, Mn, P and Zn are likely. Rapeseed will not tolerate waterlogged conditions, hence it requires well-drained soils. Crop rotation considerations are important when selecting a site for rapeseed production.
Traditional fertilization method is with standard agricultural fertilizers, applied by broadcasting or in row. However, a strong upcoming trend is to use Controlled Release Fertilizers in order to maximize the efficiency of the applied nutrients and to reduce costs. Phosphorous and Potassium should be applied in the autumn, by broadcasting, before planting. About 30% of the Nitrogen can be applied then and the balance- at the early vegetative stages and at the beginning of flower bud development. If row application is practiced, Nitrogen and Potassium rates should be reduced and applied at least 5 cm deeper, and 5 cm away from the seed, to avoid seed-to-uncoated fertilizer contact. Furrow application can be chosen by using coated mini granulated fertilizers like Agromaster Start Mini in dosage of 60-80 kg/ha. In poor soils, a lower dosage of 30-40 kg/ha, may be used in addition to the standard fertilization, in order to combine its starter effect with well-balanced nutrition.
The latest generation of starter fertilizers
The new trends in the development of fertilizer technologies for agricultural crops envisage the usage of micro-granules fertilizers as an integrated part of a standard program to feed the plants. With the support of its specialists and the research and development department, ICL created Agromaster Start Mini. This is a special and unique product which combines the standard micro-granules fertilizer's effect with the controlled release effect of coated Nitrogen. This combination ensures both an immediate release of nutrients which plants need in the first stages of vegetation (rooting and tillering) and guarantee a continuous Nitrogen feeding during the crop cycle. This product does not affect the germination or the emergence of the young plants, which can occur with other fertilizers because of the high level of salts.
Benefits of Agromaster Start Mini:
- Localized fertilization, with maximum efficiency of nutrients usage
- Easier to use, less work, and less soil compaction due to the reduction of other applications
- Controlled-release of Nitrogen for a long lasting effect
- Starter effect generated by the immediate availability of Phosphorus to the young root system
- Enhanced crop uniformity thanks to controlled nutrition
- Exclude the competition of weeds for nutrients
- Additional Magnesium and Sulphur to intensify the photosynthetic activity and plant’s growth
Foliar feeding is a common practice in fertilizing rapeseed; it is best practice to tank-mix the fertilizers with crop-protection products. Foliar feeding boosts the plant development, strengthening the plants against abiotic factors (e.g. drought, heat, cold soils), and against biotic factors (e.g. nematodes, pests and diseases) and correct mineral deficiencies. Please do not consider foliar feeding as a replacement of base fertilizers!
For a promising rapeseed crop it is recommended that in spring its total biomass above ground is approx. 500-600 gr/sqm. In order to achieve this parameter, foliar feeding may start from autumn when Phosphorus and Potassium play a key role in the plant lifecycle. Therefore, one application of Agroleaf Power High P (12-52-5+TE) and Agroleaf Power High K (15-10-31+TE), at 2-2.5 kg/ha of each product, should be applied at the stage of 6-8 leaves. This application will provide the NPK ratio for a proper growth of vegetation, strong root system, improving water management within the plant and its resistance against frost.
In spring when air temperature is following an increasing trend, Agroleaf Power Total (20-20-20+TE) at 3-5 kg/ha, will provide balanced nutrition for an optimal growth. If the crop is suffering from Sulphur deficiency, Agroleaf Power Magnesium (10-5-10+16MgO+32SO3) at 3-5 kg/ha, is the preferred product to choose from.
Following the Nitrogen uptake trend in Oilseed rape, Agroleaf Power High N (31-11-11+TE) at 3-5 kg/ha may be used for boosting the yield, when the first green bud is visible.
Agroleaf Power High K (15-10-31+TE) at 3-5 kg/ha, can be used at the opening of the first flower. The product can improve water management within the plant and pollination for better pod filling and therefore for better yield.
The Agroleaf Power range consists of pure and high level of nutrients which make the product suitable to perform in all water conditions. Its exclusive M-77 technology and Double Power Impact (DPI) complex guarantees an improved uptake and prolonged availability of all nutrients and micro-nutrients. With all macro and micro-nutrients correcting nutrient imbalances, Agroleaf Power is a product for every crop’s stage. Thanks to the purity and high quality of the raw materials, Agroleaf Power products dissolve quickly and completely, making application easy.
In 2015, in the area of Nyírtelek-Gyulatanyán, 4 treatments of foliar feeding were applied on one hectare of irrigated field, with costs of approx. 60 thousand forints (approx. €194 ), and generated the extra income of 100 thousand forints (approx. €323, after deducting expenses). In non-irrigated conditions, the amount of yield per hectare is higher by approx. 0.8 tons (ranging from 3.8 to 4.6 tons per hectare), while in irrigated plants it is about 1.3 tons (from 4.2 to 5.5 tons per hectare). Also other local experiments had similar results.
By: Cristian Filote
International Technical Manager
ICL Specialty Fertilizers