Cover Crops: Tillage Radish vs. Oilseed Radish

The Tillage Radish has piqued the interest of both eastern and western farmers. While cover crops are far more common in the east, western Canadian farmers are warming up to the usefulness of oilseed radish and the Tillage Radish. It’s a versatile crop — the Tillage Radish creates massive roots that can break up hardpan, soak up and cycle nutrients as well as offer up a tasty treat to grazing cattle and sheep.

In this video, filmed on September 11, Christine Brown, cover crops specialist with OMAFRA, walks us through the different growth characteristics between oilseed radish and Tillage Radish. Which type and variety you choose depends on your management goals; common oilseed radish offers excellent ground cover and nitrogen uptake but won’t produce the giant carrot-like roots of the Tillage Radish.

For more on cover crops, see our first video with Christine here. For more on soil horizons and how cover crops can increase water infiltration, click here.


If you cannot see the embedded video below click here.


RealAgriculture Agronomy Team

A team effort of RealAgriculture videographers and editorial staff to make sure that you have the latest in agronomy information for your farm.


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The “tillage radish,” to clarify here, should always be referred to by it’s registered name Tillage Radish®. It is a unique radish variety with PVP pending status. The genetic profile of Tillage Radish® is different from any other cover crop radish, and it not an “oilseed” variety.

It’s important to note this going forward in both your research and editorial coverage of Tillage Radish®. Thanks!

Scott Jones

Sorry but not true – the original Tillage Radish was a brand not variety which means that it is actually a VNS by legal definition. Recently Tillage has received PVP status pending which has questionable value since it may or may not receive actual PVP status, depending on the outcome of the breeding process.. It is really interesting that true varieties have breeding records with the selection/breeding history of the variety; to my knowledge tillage has none of those credentials and is merely a VNS radish trying to buy PVP status.. It would be interesting to actually see the breeders selection records so as to put this vexing and over hyped question to rest.. There is no significant genetic difference between most of the commercially marketed “Daikon” radishes only marketing hype but there is true genetic differences between the different PVP Oil seed radishes from actual European breeding programs.. Do your homework, avoid the advertisements and the truth shall truly set you free..

Lyndsey Smith

Hi ‘Ag_Research’,
I’m happy to include a link to the company supplying the Tillage Radish variety. Do you have one? Sorry, we don’t use the registered R mark, but I’m happy to capitalize the name to make the distinction.


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