Perennial Cropping Options

All wild bird shoots and any shoots reliant on game crops to produce drives should have a percentage of their crops as perennials. However, please don’t think that you can just plant a perennial crop and it will guarantee cover for many years. All perennials need to be established with care and need annual management if they are to deliver the habitat that game requires. Once established they are a terrific source of reassurance especially in difficult years when so many annual crops fail. Perennials are excellent for providing reliable cover, but they don’t produce much winter food.  They can attract insects and be useful for brood rearing, plus they can offer considerable cost savings over their lifetime.  Some are easy to establish (and to remove if required), others, artichokes for example, are rather more permanent. Please talk to us to discuss what you are looking to achieve and we can advise you on the best solution.

 

GM206
  • Our most popular and successful perennial mix
  • Must be sown on wide rows to avoid disappointment
  • Reed millet delivers cover in year 1
  • Chicory, reed canary grass and sweet clover then provide cover for 5 years+
  • Contains reed millet, reed canary grass, chicory, sweet clover
    • Seed treatment – recleaned only
    • Bag size – 6kg (half hectare)
Home Sweet Home
  • Developed for estates with grey partridge interests
  • Long-term mix delivering winter cover and spring chick food
  • Sweet fennel a very winter hardy perennial that also delivers insects in the spring
  • Reed millet and kale give cover in year 1
  • Contains sweet fennel, sweet clover, chicory, spitfire kale rape, lucerne, reed millet
    • Seed treatment –  nitrogen gold inoculum (Lucerne)
    • Bag size – 12kg (hectare)
Canary / Reed Canary
  • Reed canary grass (phalaris arundinacea) is UK native unlike Canary grass (p. aquatica) 
  • Both must be sown in wide rows (75cm) and need ongoing management
  • Better sown in mixes
    • Seed treatment – recleaned only
    • Bag size - 2.5kg
Miscanthus
  • Fantastic holding and driving crop
  • Takes two years to establish
  • Once established holds birds all day whatever the weather
  • Best grown in strips alongside a food crop
  • Can be oversown in year 1
    • Minimum order size – 2,000 rhizomes (0.2ha)
    • Bag size – 2,000 to 10,000 rhizomes
  • Oakbank Game (@OakbankGame)

    Very good session in the Intercropping for Sustainability Conference, well managed by @LEAFchief . For me, Companion Crops are the place to start but Harvesting more than one crop will become more common eventually.

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