The Oats peas and vetch mixture is a great crop to increase the fertility status of a depleted soil that may be struggling with compaction or nutrient recycling.
The oats act as great phosphorus scavenger and when companioned with peas and vetch as a nitrogen fixer they provide key nutrients to the plant reducing the reliance on artificial fertilisers which will be detrimental to the soil’s biology. Where organic manures are applied the crop can virtually be grown on no extra fertilisers, although Foliar sprays are advised according to need and tailored based on tissue sampling.
The diversity in the three different increase the amount of root exudates given out and the bigger the crop the better this is for the rhizosphere.
what happens in the rhizosphere drives most of what happens biologically in the soil. Secondly, it is the organic material (in both quality and quantity) that feeds the soil biota, and the term ‘soil organic material’ includes the plant roots and root exudates (carbon-containing compounds that leak from roots).
bacteria and fungi use root exudates (and the dead sloughed cells from the root) as a food source to grow and reproduce. Many types of bacteria that live in the rhizosphere will produce plant-growth-promoting substances that increase root growth, thereby providing themselves with increased root area to colonise, and more exudates for food.
Rhizosphere interactions often produce changes in soil structure. Sticky secretions from bacteria, the glomalin from mycorrhizas, and hyphae from these and other fungi, along with exudates and dead root cells, will bind soil particles to create aggregates and a unique habitat for other soil organisms.
Nurturing the build-up of a biologically diverse rhizosphere to compete with pathogens and damaging insects. In my experience, most healthy plant rhizospheres have an adequate population of Bacillus and other bacterial species that provide protection against pests and diseases.
An economic benefit for choosing this crop over maize brings in a significant growing cost reduction in Seed, fertilisers and Chemical.
Based on last year’s 12t/Acre crop of Oats, peas, and vetch the growing costs were 54% Less when compared with a Maize program for seed, fertilisers, and chemicals.
With the current price volatility in ag crop protection an estimated comparison is:
Oats /Peas & Vetch
- Seed = £100/ha
- Fertilisers = £115/ha
- Chemical = £20/ha
- Trace Elements = £20/Ha
- Seed = £225/ha
- Fertilisers = £300/ha
- Chemical = £60/ha
- Trace elements = £25/ha