August 12, 2014 12:00 am Published by LauraE

12 August 2014

Nutritional Agronomy Note


Feeding Oilseed Rape for the Best Start

With establishment operations underway for next year’s rape crop, the pressure is on to get oilseed rape established as quickly and effectively as possible.

For farmers using or planning subsoiler establishment, placing a band of liquid starter fertiliser can have major advantages in terms of fertiliser efficiency and boosting growth, helping the crop establish quickly and vigorously.


Starter fertiliser allows relatively high rates of nitrogen and phosphate to be applied around the seed, while only using low rates of fertiliser across the field. Depending on the area treated, 60 l/ha of 14-14-0 delivers 50 kg/ha N and P in the seeding zone, whilst only applying 8.5 kg/ha N and P to the field.Providing a nutrient-rich seedbed for the rape has significant benefits in terms of autumn establishment and spring growth.


In the pictures below, one pass of the subsoiler was made without application of 14-14-0, and the effect is clear.


Using a liquid delivery system allows other inputs to be applied at the same time, such as TPA or biostimulants that make the establishment more robust.



TPA is a phosphate enhancer. It maintains the availability of phosphate to crops, delaying the normal process of immobilisation that reduces fertiliser efficiency. Seedlings require available phosphate to encourage establishment and rooting, and conventional phosphate can fail to provide this. Adding TPA to liquid fertiliser ensures that 100% water solubility is prolonged, stimulating effective rooting and boosting establishment.

For more details on starter fertilisers, please click here, or contact us.

Crop Nutrition Agronomist


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