As echium is a small-seeded crop, it benefits from sowing into a fine, firm seedbed to encourage rapid establishment. Sowing should occur from the end of March through to mid-May on light, dry soils with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. As flowering is uneven it is necessary to desiccate or swath the crop before harvesting, which occurs from July to August. Trials in America have shown yields of 0.1-0.6t/ha.
Nitrogen should be applied to the seedbed post drilling at a rate of around 50kgN/ha. The crop is not responsive to phosphate and potash therefore maintenance applications should be made. In poor soils, sulphur and magnesium may be required as well as trace elements, such as boron, therefore where the risk is high tissue analysis should be conducted to show deficiencies.
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