Tillage Radish is planted in the late summer or early fall as a valuable cover crop. It typically frost kills with a few cold nights in the mid-teens.
But this year was exceptionally warm in many areas of the U.S. and Farmers may now see new growth emerging from some surviving Tillage Radish tubers.
What To Do
The plants can be successfully terminated when leaves reach 8 inches to 12 inches in length, when they’re large enough to absorb the proper amount of the application.
Or farmers may wait until flowers begin to emerge for the herbicide application.
One quart per acre of glyphosate and 1 pint per acre of a 2,4-D-type herbicide will control Tillage Radish.
In fields that had Tillage Radish planted with cash grain wheat, an application .5 ounces of the old formulation of Harmony Extra, or .9 ounces of the newer formulation of Harmony Extra SG (TotalSol).
Add half a pint of 2-4D, but that needs to be applied prior to jointing.
Spring Odor: Completely Natural, Harmless
As the Tillage Radish decays it releases soil nutrients absorbed and stored last fall. This saves nitrates from polluting water sources and recycles crop nutrients.
Soon after the Tillage Radish is either winterkilled or controlled by other means, the decomposing plants emit an odor similar to natural gas or propane. This has led to a few instances where the local gas company was called to investigate a “leak” only to find it was coming from a farmer’s field of decomposing radishes.
The smell is usually short lived, lasting a few days to a week depending on the temperature.
Planting Over Spring Tubers
Further south, some Tillage Radishes have grown quite large. Farmers may be concerned about planting cash crops over large tubers protruding from the ground.
Most planters have row cleaners that push the tubers aside, allowing for good seed placement of the cash crop. The tubers rapidly decompose releasing soil nutrients for use by the emerging cash crop.