Radish planted with wheat (at seeding time) adds yield? There are a bunch of farmers saying “yes, it does!”

While in northwest Ohio in the Fall of 2010 for a manure management field day, some area farmers told me that wheat producers are adding 2-4# of cover crop radishes per acre to the wheat in the drill…and experiencing excellent results.

Some reported gaining 5-7 bushels per acre by adding the radishes.  Others even reduced their nitrogen application by 20% and still got a 5 bu/acre increase where the radishes were planted with the wheat versus where there were no radishes.  

 As one gentleman said, “It is like having a bunch of ‘french wells’ in the field.”  The ground dries faster, the radishes scavenge N and hold it until spring…then slowly release the N to the wheat crop in the spring…cool huh?  These won’t be the “state fair” size radishes when planted that late, but they will be 5-12″ deep, maybe the size of your ring finger. It’s an idea to consider!

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One Response to Radish planted with wheat (at seeding time) adds yield? There are a bunch of farmers saying “yes, it does!”

  1. Sam August 31, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    I had several customers’ use this process in their wheat fields this past season. They used 1-2 pound of daikon oilseed radish in half of the acres they drilled in particular fields. Their results this spring were that they were able to get into the fields 1½ – 2 weeks earlier to apply their first application of nitrogen. Their soil temperatures were 4 – 5 degrees warmer in the half of the field that the daikon oilseed radishes were incorporated into their seed wheat. There was a 4-6 bushel increase in their yield. The moisture held at 12.5%. These radishes did not get much bigger than 16 -18 inches in length and 1 – 1½ inch in girth but they did give the customers’ their return on investment.