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A few observations.


dead eye alan
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While processing yesterdays bag I found 4 youngsters, 3 adults with what looks like seeds about the size of barley but 3 cornered if that makes sense, and most of the adults had large amounts of yellow fat. All had traces of rape and some also had clover and grass. One had a growth on its wing tip flesh that looked like a fat ball. Have any of you seen any of this before? 

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2 hours ago, ditchman said:

thats interesting ....does it actually work ...and how ?

Well the rape that I’m quoting has all come through very well. I’m no expert but I believe that you over-sow the seeded rape with the buckwheat and this covers the rape and any beetle damage is taken by the cover crop . 

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same as the pige don’t take to buck seed every year here buck it’s self does not always work lost large field to beetle last year and several half fields but this year pige are mad for the seed and the rape is nice looking crop always seems to get damage in years pige don’t hit the seed the two seem connected somehow 

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Was told by an Agronomist that the main job of companion crops such as buckwheat is to hide the young rape plants from the swarms of flea beetle that arrive around September, the buckwheat is usually broadcast just before combining or sown directly after combining end of July, once the buckwheat is established the rape is sown directly into the cover crop.

Last year a farmer I know went over a freshly combined barley field with the power-harrow, there was a lot of corn left on the top after combining, when the barley was about two inches tall he direct drilled the field with rape, there was very little beetle damage and the field produced a good crop, he put it down to the young rape plants must be giving off a certain wavelength of light/colour that the beetles are looking for when flying overhead.

Whatever it is that is helping to keep damage down to a minimum with cover crops seems to-be working as more rape in this area has been sown with a cover crop and is showing very little flea beetle damage, so more for me to go at, happy days. :)

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50 minutes ago, old'un said:

Was told by an Agronomist that the main job of companion crops such as buckwheat is to hide the young rape plants from the swarms of flea beetle that arrive around September, the buckwheat is usually broadcast just before combining or sown directly after combining end of July, once the buckwheat is established the rape is sown directly into the cover crop.

Last year a farmer I know went over a freshly combined barley field with the power-harrow, there was a lot of corn left on the top after combining, when the barley was about two inches tall he direct drilled the field with rape, there was very little beetle damage and the field produced a good crop, he put it down to the young rape plants must be giving off a certain wavelength of light/colour that the beetles are looking for when flying overhead.

Whatever it is that is helping to keep damage down to a minimum with cover crops seems to-be working as more rape in this area has been sown with a cover crop and is showing very little flea beetle damage, so more for me to go at, happy days.

That's interesting, everyday is a school day. Thanks for you post most informative.  

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57 minutes ago, old'un said:

Was told by an Agronomist that the main job of companion crops such as buckwheat is to hide the young rape plants from the swarms of flea beetle that arrive around September, the buckwheat is usually broadcast just before combining or sown directly after combining end of July, once the buckwheat is established the rape is sown directly into the cover crop.

Last year a farmer I know went over a freshly combined barley field with the power-harrow, there was a lot of corn left on the top after combining, when the barley was about two inches tall he direct drilled the field with rape, there was very little beetle damage and the field produced a good crop, he put it down to the young rape plants must be giving off a certain wavelength of light/colour that the beetles are looking for when flying overhead.

Whatever it is that is helping to keep damage down to a minimum with cover crops seems to-be working as more rape in this area has been sown with a cover crop and is showing very little flea beetle damage, so more for me to go at, happy days. :)

Such tactics appear to be working well in some parts of the country but I have yet to see them on these Wolds.

More rape has been sown this time and most is looking good. The rape that is poor did not suffer from flea beetle damage but was either drilled too late or into an unsuitable seed bed.

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31 minutes ago, JDog said:

Such tactics appear to be working well in some parts of the country but I have yet to see them on these Wolds.

More rape has been sown this time and most is looking good. The rape that is poor did not suffer from flea beetle damage but was either drilled too late or into an unsuitable seed bed.

The last few of years most of the rape in this area was lost to flea beetle, I had very little to go at, so I am happy that some of the farmers in this area are giving rape another go and sowing it with a companion crop which seems to do the job of protecting the rape, just hope more follow suite. :)

Only draw back to these cover/companion crops is a higher number of slugs which means more time and money on slug pellets, having said that it seems most are happy with the results so far, plus I think the returns on a high value crop such as rape outweighs the extra time/money spent on protecting the crop.

Edited by old'un
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