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Cultivation of rapeseed with companion plants in the cropping system precision drilling and wide row spacing

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Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz

Federal State

Lower Saxony and Bremen


Calenberger Straße 2
30169 Hannover

Website: External link to the authority

Project Title

Cultivation of rapeseed with companion plants in the cropping system precision drilling and wide row spacing

Project description

Companion plants are a companion seed of rape, in particular legumes, that freeze off during the winter period and leave a clean and strong rape stock in spring. The rape is applied with the single grain technique in wide row spacing. In the same operation the companion plants are drilled. The precision drilling requires an even coverage with vital individual plants and well trained root systems. The plants can therefore benefit from more water, light and nutrients. The use of companion plants, legumes, is supposed to reduce the infestation of pests, consequently the use of pesticides, and the use of nitrogen fertilizer. The early and complete land cover and more intensive rooting protect the soil from erosion. The aim of the project is to document the benefits of various companion plants in rape regarding the use of pesticides, nitrogen efficiency and economy. In the focus is also the optimization of the cultivation process based on the obtained experimental results, and the development of cultivation recommendations for the cultivation of rape seed with companion plants to reduce future insect infestation, to increase nitrogen efficiency and stabilize the rapeseed yields.

Results focusing on practiceorientation

The cultivation of oilseed rape with freezing accompanying plants is an arable measure, which replaces neither the plant protection applications nor a fertilizer measure completely. Legume accompanying plants bind in the autumn air nitrogen, which was the rapeseed available in the spring. Thus, the N-fertilizer can be reduced in the spring. In addition, there are other benefits that were not monetary. The weed pressure could be reduced and the rape plants developed healthier. In the fall, there was a faster, more widespread mulch cover and a good rooting of the soil, whereby the arable land was maximally protected against soil erosion. In the spring there is a weed-free and strong oilseed rape on the fields, surrounded by a mulch layer of frozen legumes. The high soil coverage of dead wastes reduces erosion and increases the proportion of organic matter to maintain and promote soil fertility. The more root mass also increases the biological activity of the... (see final report)

Key words

  • Plant production and horticulture
  • Land cover type
  • Pest/disease control
  • Soil

Main funding source

Rural development 2014-2020 for Operational Groups (in the sense of Art 56 of Reg.1305/2013)

OG contact information

Gesellschaft für konservierende Bodenbearbeitung e.V. (GKB)
Hauptstraße 6
15366 Neuenhagen b. Berlin

Phone: 03342/422130

Email: jana.epperlein@gkb-ev.de

Type of OG partners

  • Farmer
  • Farmer
  • Farmer

Begin of project


Project status


Total budget applied for in EUR


Further information

Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Projektseite und im Praxisblatt.

Link 1

GKB Website

Link 2

Practice Sheet



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