Agriculture - Combinable Crops, Grass Seeds, Maize & Fodder Crops, Agri Chemicals

Catch Crops





  • Catch Crops are planted to reduce nutrient leaching following a main crop; the catch crop takes up or “catches” available nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil.

 
  • Cover Crops are any crop grown to provide soil cover, regardless of whether it is later incorporated. The benefits of soil cover are to prevent soil erosion by wind and water, to suppress weeds and reduce insect pests and disease.

 
  • Green Manuring involves the soil incorporation of any field or forage crop while green or soon after flowering, for the purpose of soil improvement.


Benefits of Catch Crops
  • Reducing leaching

  • Reducing erosion

  • Weed and volunteer crop suppression

  • Increasing biological activity in the soil

  • Adding organic matter to the soil

  • Improving soil structure

  • Root penetration of various soil horizons

  • Potential to reduce pests and disease

  • Increasing the supply of nutrients for following crops

  • Legumes add extra Nitrogen to the soil

  • Potential to produce animal feed for use in winter or spring


Disadvantages of Catch Crops
  • May increase certain pests and diseases (ensure correct crop choice to minimise risk)

  • Potential for catch crop species to become weeds in future crops (do not allow catch crop plants to set seed)

  • Pressures of workload at optimum establishment time

  • Successful establishment is difficult in very dry weather

  • Cost of establishing and incorporating catch crops



  • Short Rotation Forage Crops can function as feed crops, cover crops, catch crops and as green manures when incorporated. The green manure benefit is less than for crops that are not fed. It is important not to damage or poach the soil when feeding the crop as this may reduce the performance of the following crop. 


CATCH CROP SEED MIXTURES 2015

 

Catch Crop 1 - FODDER RAPE & OATS
 
Spring Oats
 17.00 kgs
Fodder Rape    3.00 kgs
   20.00 kgs

  - Sow at 40-50kg/ha

  - Good fodder production

  - Catches nitrogen & other nutrients

  - Will survive a normal Irish winter

  - Suit in rotations with cereals and beans



Catch Crop 2 - VETCH & OATS  
Spring Oats
 16.00 kgs
Common Vetch - Autumn Type    4.00 kgs
   20.00 kgs

  - Sow at 40-50kg/ha

  - Good fodder production

  - Fixes and catches nitrogen

  - Will survive a normal Irish winter

  - Suit in rotations with cereals, beets and OSR



Catch Crop 3 - FODDER BRASSICA MIX  
Fodder Rape
   5.00 kgs
Leafy Turnip    5.00 kgs
   10.00 kgs

  - Sow at 10-12kg/ha

  - Excellent option for fodder production

  - Catches Nitrogen & other nutrients

  - Will survive a normal Irish winter

  - Low cost

  - Suit in rotations with cereals and beans


Catch Crop 4 - SOIL ENHANCER  
Oilseed Radish
   4.00 kgs
Phacelia    3.00 kgs
White Mustard    5.00 kgs
   12.00 kgs

  - Sow at 12-15kg/ha

  - Deep rooting and large root biomass

  - Excellent soil conditioner

  - Catches nitrogen and other nutrients

  - Not winter hardy

   - Not suitable for fodder

  - Suit in rotations with cereals, bean and beet



Catch Crop 5 - SOIL HEALTH+  
Common Vetch - Spring Type
   6.00 kgs
Berseem Clover    5.00 kgs
Phacelia    3.00 kgs
   14.00 kgs

  - Sow at 14-18kg/ha

  - Main focus on soil health

  - Fixes and catches nitrogen

  - Not suitable for fodder

  - A cold winter will kill these plants

 -  Suit in rotation with cereals, beet and OSR




Seedbed Preparation: The catch crop mixtures all contain small seeds - they require a fine and firm seedbed. Target sowing depth at 1-2cm with a maximum depth of 3cm. Seeds need to be in good contact with soil and moisture. To conserve water and suppress competition from volunteer cereals and rape, sow the seeds immediately after harvest using shallow cultivations. Ensure the seedbed is well consolidated. In good sowing conditions the lower seed rates indicated above are recommended, with difficult sowing conditions use the higher rate indicated.

Do not allow cover crop plants to set seed. If seed production is likely then the crop should be checked or destroyed by chemical or mechanical means. Cover crops that are not used for fodder will need herbicide treatment in spring.