Prior to planting this field for haylage, it had been in alfalfa for three years. Dairy manure and solids were applied, so the amount of traffic on the field is substantial.
The farmer is mixing in 2 pounds of radish with his wheat in order to scavenge leftover nitrogen from the manure. If everything works out as planned, there should be a radish seed every 8-10 inches.
The goal for the radishes:
- pencil sized
- get to a 20 inch depth
- scavenge leftover nitrogen until winter-kill (3 nights 20 degrees or below)
- release nitrogen in early spring when the wheat needs it most
Below is a video of what the seed looks like mixed together in the box.
Two Weeks Later
The next video below is shot two weeks after the seed was planted. If the radishes are able to make it to "thumb" size before winter-kill, they should be able to scavenge between 50 and 80 units of nitrogen that will then be available in the spring when the wheat needs it most.
What We Found at the Root Pit
On November 13, we dug a root pit in this field to see what we would find.
With four and a half weeks of growth, we had:
- radish down 18 inches
- radish that was pencil-sized
The overall goal: root penetration and nutrient storage with the final result of more tonnage.
Below is a video of Dan Perkins explaining what was going on in the field.