BLADEN, Neb. — Green Cover Seed announced it will be marketing a new variety of cover crop radish named the “Smart Radish” that is bred specifically for the cover crop and soil health market.

“This is not a Daikon, vegetable or oilseed radish but is a totally new plant from the top to bottom,” says Green Cover Seed co-owner Keith Berns.

The radish was bred by Adrian Russel with Plant Research New Zealand under contract to New Zealand's Norwest Seed and being marketed in the U.S. by Green Cover Seed. The first two containers of Smart Radish in North America are due in to Green Cover Seed this week. Berns says the seeds are DNA and Plant Variety Protection Act protected.

Berns says the Smart Radish features a “pull down” v-shaped bulb for more biomass in the ground and less above the ground. It also has a fibrous lateral rooting mass and excellent nutrient scavenging and cycling properties, he adds.

The variety has a trait for higher plant tillering to provide more leaf area and higher plant biomass than many other radish options for forage, soil, cover and green manure. “Larger leaves mean more solar collection area to harvest the sun’s energy, and the smoother leaf means it’s better for forage and grazing,” Berns says.