Rapeseed Vs. Tillage Radish

rape vs. radish
* Picture updated 12/7/15 from 15700 seeds/lb to 175000 seeds/lb

Both the rapeseed and the tillage radish are members of the broadleaf family.  The radish is one of the most popular cover crops on the market today.  Its popularity is mainly due to its ability to break up compaction and scavenge nutrients.  Radishes are easy to manage locally because they winterkill.  Winterkilling is when we have 3-4 nights in the teens-low twenties and this causes the plant to die.  The radish has rapid growth of a deep taproot.

Rapeseed doesn’t have the popularity of radish but is able to provide similar benefits.  With a deep fibrous root system instead of the taproot, rapeseed is able to break up soil with many smaller roots.  Most varieties of rapeseed will also winterkill, making them easy to manage in our climate.  If they do over winter, rapeseed can be controlled with glyphosate.

Both species are good in somewhat poorly to well-drained soils, are good N-scavengers, are good topsoil looseners and for grazing.

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