Expert advice

Spring in a rape plantation

The basic activity to be performed in the spring in a rape plantation is evaluation of the condition of the plants. This applies most of all to winter survival of the plants, the extent of the damage that has occurred during the winter, and the number of plants per square meter that are in a good condition. Most often plantations are on a different development level and, in such a case, the development phase of the plantation must be assumed based on the condition of a majority of the plants. If 75% of plants in a plantation are in a given development phase, it must be assumed that the entire plantation is in that phase and this phase must be used as the basis for planning of agrotechnical procedures.

Insecticide protection

The first insects appear, such as Athalia colibri, cabbage aphid, Ceutorhynchus napi, Ceutorhynchus quadridens, and Ceutorhynchus assimilis, and Meligethes aeneus. These pests, with the exception of the Ceutorhynchus assimilis and the Meligethes aeneus (which appear starting from the BBCH 39 phase), are present in the early spring starting from the BBCH 21 phase. Particular attention must be paid to Dasyneura brassicae Winn. which is present from the BBCH 61 phase. Observation of appearance of the insects must commence with the start of vegetation of the plants, e.g. by placing yellow containers with water with an addition of a surfactant (e.g. a dish washing liquid/hand washing liquid) so as to catch a larger number of the insects. One must keep in mind that as the plants grow taller, the containers must also be placed at greater heights, on the level of the plant growth cone. Insects are suppressed with insecticides that, according to their way of action, can be divided into contact ones, stomach ones, systemic ones, and gaseous ones.

Herbicide protection

Herbicide procedures performed in the fall must often be repeated in the spring. The weeds that appear in the spring are chamomile weeds: false mayweed, corn chamomile, and other weeds, such as cornflower, common fumitory, European black nightshade, common groundsel, and common knotweeds. A perfect solution is to use the FAWORYT 300 SL product in the dose of 0.3 to 0.4 l/ha, which contains clopyralid. FAWORYT 300 SL is used until rape plants create flower buds.

Fungicide protection

Protection of rape against fungal diseases, most of all against dry rot of brassica, is one of the most important procedures. Early spring is a critical time for protection of plantations against this disease. A perfect solution is to use the TARCZA ŁAN EXTRA 250 EW product at the dose of 1 l/ha; this is done at the phase of growth of the main shoot - BBCH 30-31. This procedure also ensures effect suppression of the brassica black. Use of the TARCZA ŁAN EXTRA 250 EW in the spring also results in shorter stalks, which reduces the risk of lodging, which demonstrates effectiveness of the growth regulator. TARCZA ŁAN EXTRA 250 EW effectively regulates the external appearance of the plant. The EW formulation (water emulsion) demonstrates excellent miscibility with insecticides and foliar fertilizers, especially with boron which is indispensable in cultivation of rape. One must keep in mind that tebuconazole can also be used in a later phase, i.e. from the end of blooming phase to the first petal dropping phase - BBCH 57-65, in the dose of 1 l/ha.

Spring fertilization

Rape is a plant with very high nutritive needs. Properly developed rate needs a majority of potassium and nitrogen until the start of blooming phase; therefore, it is important to provide rape with approx. 180 kg K2O/ha and 160-180 kg N/ha in the early spring. One must not forget to provide sulfur, which is necessary for proper development of rape as it determines uptake and use of nitrogen. During the spring vegetation, the plant should receive approx. 55-60 kg of SO3. The amount of sulfur provided during vegetation can also be moderated by using magnesium sulphate heptahydrate. One must also remember to provide such microelements as copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc, which must be provided to plants in a foliar fertilizer. This can be done using the SARPLON RZEPAK product in three doses of 2 l/ha each. This will help ensure proper and stable growth of rape and achieve the highest yield.