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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a couple hundred acres that went unseeded this spring due to wet conditions. I have decided to seed perennial ryegrass in August without a cover crop. I've been doing some reading about tillage radish and think that this 200 acres could benefit a lot from the radish. So my question is....has anyone ever seeded ryegrass with the tillage radish this way? And if so, how was the outcome? Or would it be better just to seed the ryegrass by itself and keep wondering about the radish? Thanks for any advice or input.
 

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Yes. For seed next year.
I used to grow it by fall seeding into canola stubble, seeded in late August. I have some under-seeded to wheat right now but have never tried tillage radish. Would it leave some plant material to catch snow because that would be helpful. I wonder if it can handle being buried under a wheat crop for a couple of months why it couldn't handle the tillage radish???

Here is my ryegrass early on, the wheat crop has completely shaded in now but the ryegrass is hanging around under there.:)
 

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I've grown both the tillage radish for seed and the perennial rye. But never both together. It would be interesting if you can make it work.

Two things that come to mind are, the large lower leaf of the radish and the tuber of the radish. If the leaf does not shade out then cover and kill the grass you would have a really awesome combo. The tuber would only be a harvest issue as the grass is so short, you would take a lot of tuber into the combine.

If you check the label of stinger, I think it may be labelled in your area for both the radish and the grass once the crops are to a certain growth stage. Not many other broad leaf chems labelled for the radish.

This would be really something if you do it and it works. Would you plant wide row spacing on the grass, like about 18" or so? If you can plant both with the same planter/drill and just plant the radish centered between the grass on wide spacings, you might just pull this off.

Can you band some nitrogen with the grass seed? I would not put much if any N with the radish, at least not until later.

I was thinking about this idea since I read you post. The more I think about it, the more I would sure like to see it work. You may have hit on something big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi doorknob. I was thinking the tillage radish would die overwinter and then just have the ryegrass next year. Would this not be the result? I don't normally have these kind of options because I normally get all my crops seeded in the spring.
 

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Yes, the radish should die over winter if it gets good and cold. But its the shade out when it is growing that may, or may not, be an issue. Depends how aggressive it grows before the cold spell.

I doubt your radish will get this tall, but here is a video of my radish last year at windrowing time for seed harvest. You can see all that matter would melt down over the young grass and possibly smother it. But in your situation, you can control the height of the radish and kill it off if it gets bigger than you wish it to.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So doorknob, I'd like to seed the ryegrass, radish combo before the end of August. We normally get our first frost around mid September but we don't normally freeze up till late October or early November. I've never grown either before so I'm going to ask a few questions.
The rep told me to broadcast 50 lbs of urea in the fall and another 50 lbs in the spring on the ryegrass when it is spring seeded with a cover crop. So without a cover crop could I get away with banding 100lbs of nh3 before I seed here in a month? Or do as the rep said?

How many lbs of tillage radish do you think would be a good companion with the ryegrass?

If I do this I was planning on putting both seeds down the same row with a 7.5" spacing on my air drill on the same pass. Comments?

Thanks
 

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I can't comment specifically on the tillage radish but the stuff in the video was taller than what I had imagined it would become in a couple of months of fall weather.

I used to band NH3 mid-row when I grew PRG, I also used to put NH3 down with my winter wheat....it worked just fine! If that is the easiest most cost-effective way to put down the N I wouldn't hesitate to do it that way.;)
 

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So doorknob, I'd like to seed the ryegrass, radish combo before the end of August. We normally get our first frost around mid September but we don't normally freeze up till late October or early November. I've never grown either before so I'm going to ask a few questions.
The rep told me to broadcast 50 lbs of urea in the fall and another 50 lbs in the spring on the ryegrass when it is spring seeded with a cover crop. So without a cover crop could I get away with banding 100lbs of nh3 before I seed here in a month? Or do as the rep said?

How many lbs of tillage radish do you think would be a good companion with the ryegrass?

If I do this I was planning on putting both seeds down the same row with a 7.5" spacing on my air drill on the same pass. Comments?

Thanks
Well, the different location makes my information a bit speculative. But here, ryegrass for seed production is spaced at least 12" and more commonly 15 or so. 7.5" would be more for pasture here. The roots would become bound too soon and limit production. That, and there are other bonuses to wider spacing if you decide to proceed with seed production as a permanent crop rotation.

If I were to be planting this combination, (and I might just steal your idea and do just that in the near future) I would plant the grass with every other opener and the radish with the other set. If you have two boxes on the drill that is an easy thing to do with taping over the unused meters in each box. If you have one box, it is a bit of work, but gorilla tape and cardboard chemical boxes are your friend.

Here, for seed production of each crop, we plant about 3-4 pounds acre radish and 4-5 pounds acre grass. You may wish to up the radish a pound or two for cover crop vs. seed production.

If using one box for both seeds, you can mix clay litter with the lower poundage seed to equal the seeding rate of the other. We do a lot of that here. Mix kitty litter with the radish and grass. Used to mix a product called Zeba with them, but that product has since vanished.

Both seeds take about the same depth, which in my area would be about an inch or less depending on moisture and the covering equipment.

A brief story. Here, some radish seed producers have tried planting grass under the radish for seed. Keep in mind, both of these are for seed production vs. your radish as a cover. The grass seems to not do well under the radish. That could be from any one of many issues that maybe with a little experimenting can be over come. But for now, the more common underseeded crop is red clover under radish. This also allows us to clean unwanted grasses from the field so a cleaner grass for seed field can be established after the clover is off. But your method has an advantage of being able to terminate the radish at any time you feel is right.
 

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I can't comment specifically on the tillage radish but the stuff in the video was taller than what I had imagined it would become in a couple of months of fall weather.

I used to band NH3 mid-row when I grew PRG, I also used to put NH3 down with my winter wheat....it worked just fine! If that is the easiest most cost-effective way to put down the N I wouldn't hesitate to do it that way.;)
The radish in the video was grown for seed production, so it was let grow to full maturity. Planted late april and harvested mid september.

We cant use anhydrous here, so I have no idea how it works for production. But like vernalizing winter wheat, the grass needs available P and K as much or more than N in the fall. Seed head initiation occurs in the fall. The conditions the grass has to work with then, will determine a large part of the following harvest's yield.

We're faced with many pests that will attack the seedling grass. Cutworm, sod web worm, 12 spot cucumber beetle, flea beetle,............ Then we get into slugs and geese.

But we grow mostly proprietary turf types and put down an activated charcoal band right over the seed row to allow application of a short term soil sterilant. Usually this charcoal is suspended in a liquid fertilizer mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So you're saying that 15" rows will produce more seed than 7.5" rows? I've been thinking about this with my single shoot drill. I think I'd plug off every second run, seed the grass and radish on 2 separate passes perpendicular to each other. What do you think of that? Would it be beneficial to put down similar starter P and K with the seed as I do with spring wheat?
 

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Here, it does work best on wider spacings. But again, you are quite a ways away from me, and our methods may not suit your area. Perhaps some discussion with your local extension service or other means of ag info sharing? The wider spacings has more to do with the second and third year yields than the first year. First year may be on par or reduced just a bit over 7.5", but after that, the larger crown and added root growth will out perform the close spacing. (Here anyway)

The cross drilling sounds great. Some have used that method for other crops though of the same seed type. Cross drilling radish and grass may work well. But that is only my opinion. I like how you think. You are thinking outside the box and using what you have to go forward with a new idea.

Putting nutrient with the seed is always a great idea. Perhaps look at the N concentration of your mix and reduce it a bit for the radish?

How are your calcium levels and magnesium levels? Here, both crops respond well to lime application. Our soils acidify quickly with the rain and decomposition of organic material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I got my PRG seeded mid August last year but after speaking with a tillage radish rep I decided not to seed both crops together. The crop was well established at freeze up. Spring came early here and by early April the grass came out of dormancy and was looking good. Then came a week or so of -10C temps. Now my field looks like crap. Only the grass that was under or near water when the cold snap hit is doing well. We haven't had any real warm weather since either.

So my question is:

Winter kill? or is there still a chance the grass will come back?

There are a few more plants this week than last week

Thanks
Rod
 

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I am wondering the same thing about my field. It is quite patchy and I wonder if it is related to snow cover? All of last falls growth is brown but there is new growth coming even in the last week where there was none previously. I was told that PRG doesn't really get active until the soil is about +12C and it would be barely there at this point. I am giving it some more time to recover as it is still very early. If there is lots of sketchy fields that get abandoned prices could be better in the coming year which may make what is there now more economical? That could be wishful thinking.....
 

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I wouldn't worry about the ryegrass right now, make sure you fertilize your PRG right away as it loves N. Seed the rest of your farm and when you're done seeding reassess if you need to rip it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not planning on fertilizing it this spring cause I put 40lbs of 46 on when I seeded it and then floated 100lbs on before freeze up last fall. Hopefully that's enough. I haven't soil sampled this spring though.
 
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