Seed breeding company, Limagrain UK, has published its latest guidelines on crops for game and wildlife management. Featured in its latest HiBird brochure, these guidelines highlight the opportunities that these crops provide for wildlife and the environment, and their suitability for the Countryside Stewardship scheme.
“We have run extensive trials with these conservation crops in the past few years at our site in Lincolnshire,” says Martin Titley, Limagrain forage crops director. “Varying conditions and challenges have shown the preferences of different crops for farmland birds and the compatibility of crop species to grow together. From the results we have been able to fine-tune seed mixtures and growing guidelines to help growers fulfil each crop’s potential.”
For example, the very cold ‘Beast from the East’ in March 2018, followed by one of the hottest summers on record resulted in poorer performance of the site’s spring sown brassicas, whereas the June-sown grain sorghum and millet-based mixtures thrived in the sun. “This gives us good data to help us with our seed mixing protocols and our recommendations to growers.”
Limagrain has placed much greater emphasis on the conservation aspects of game cover crops in the 2019 HiBird portfolio. “The gamekeeping community is being encouraged to showcase the benefits of its game management to conservation here in the UK. We are supporting this by providing a wider range of crops that bring many benefits alongside traditional game cover crops.