What to do with rapeseed

What to do with rapeseed

I don’t think I had even heard of rapeseed until 2 years ago in the fall, when my father-in-law wisely decided we were going to start growing cover-crops on our land after we harvested the corn silage.  The idea was that, when planted in the fall (a mixture of white icicle radishes, turnips, and this rapeseed), the roots will grow deep into the soil.  These roots break up compaction within the soil and provide small spaces for the rain to trickle down into after the roots freeze and rot.

HOWEVER, rot these rapeseed did not!  Just look at it.  We took these photos on Sunday.  Violet thought it was a jungle!

Last fall in our area, it did not freeze hard until quite late.  The cover crops flourished.  The previous year (our first attempt), we never received enough moisture to really see what could happen so it was especially impressive last fall.  There were turnips the size of baseballs, and also radishes like the biggest carrot you’ve ever seen.

The rapeseed didn’t look like much until this spring.  Apparently, the snow must have insulated it enough that it didn’t die.  We have had an incredibly wet spring with rain shower after rain shower.  Some of our corn is planted, but this field will be corn silage again next year, so it wasn’t touched yet as corn silage doesn’t need to grow as many days as corn that we harvest for grain.

I wonder if the bees enjoyed all the flowers?  I wonder if we will ever see this happen again?  I just thought it was neat enough that it deserved some photos!