Under EFA guidelines, catch crops must remain intact until at least October 14, meaning the first opportunity to return to the field is October 15.
For growers who have been forced to change their planned rotation due to poor oilseed rape establishment, for example, leaving catch crops in the ground and following with a spring crop may be a viable alternative, according to Frontier.
Alternatively, with grass weeds prevalent on many farms, the catch crop option is favoured by many growers because of the effective window it provides for late drilling.
Destruction methods depend on the catch crop. A simple cereal and vetch mix could easily be destroyed with a standard rate glyphosate approach before direct drilling of a winter cereal, according to Frontier.
Mixes created for nutrient capture and improving soil structure, for example those containing radish, tillage radish, oat, rye and phacelia, may require a glyphosate/2,4-D type combination. This would help to completely kill the deeper rooting radish varieties with a powerful tap root, says Frontier.
Depending on treatment timing, check following crop intervals as some more sensitive crops such as sugar beet and pulses have longer restrictions.
For biofumigation and nematode reducing mixtures, including radish and black oat, do not apply a total herbicide. Instead, the crop should be left to grow until the end of October before macerating and incorporating into the soil, advises Frontier.