Game Cover

Game Cover crops will only reach their full potential if they are well managed right from the start. A successfully managed shoot is both profitable and rewarding to landowners and the local community as it contributes positively to the countryside and the overall environment. For further information on successful establishment of game cover crops please do not hesitate to contact Alan or Alison at or call 01259 760400 at anytime.

image of game cover

The following varieties are available on the market, all can be mixed to your specifications :


image of maize

Game Maize is still one of the most important crops used for cover and feed.

Sunflowers - Dwarf, Standard & Tall

image of sunflowers

They provide highly nutritious seed of a high oil content that all game and song birds enjoy. Sowing rate 5kgs/acre

Millets & Canary Grass

image of millet

White Millet

White Millet is best suited to more southerly regions of the UK as it is a sunshine loving plant and is not frost hardy. It provides warmth, shelter and feed to game birds and will attract wild seed-eating birds such as finches. Millet is particularly attractive to grey and red-legged partridges and if sown alone can be used for early holding cover. When required to last longer into the season it performs well if sown with Maize but will combine well with a variety of other game cover crops. Sowing Rate 5kg/acre

Ambush Millet

Ambush Millet Mix is a combination of White Millet and Japanese Reed Millet. The Reed Millet being a stronger plant and more winter hardy provides cover while the White millet produces plentiful seed to hold the birds in the cover. An ideal mixture for use as a wind-proof belt on the outside of a block of Maize or as a flushing point at the end of Maize. Sowing Rate 5kgs/acre

Millgame Millet

Millgame Millet Mix uses both Red and White Millet and is useful as the Red matures earlier than the White. Therefore extending the feeding period. This mixture can produce huge amounts of high protein feed per acre and when combined with Maize creates an excellent cover and feed crop. Sowing Rate 5kgs/acre

Canary Grass

Canary Grass provides excellent medium to long term nesting cover for Pheasant and Partridge and can be used to both hold and drive birds. It is useful in areas where annual planting is not an option, either because it is uneconomical or too difficult and is a good choice to use between tree rows in newly established woods. Care must be taken to drill in wide enough rows to prevent the Canary Grass becoming too dense and impassable to the birds. Sowing Rate 2.5kgs/acre untreated

Reed Canary Grass

Similar to Canary Grass but is more suitable for use in exposed northern regions as it is a much hardier plant and will tolerate a wide range of soil types. It not only offers nesting and cover to Pheasants but also provides wild birds with nesting sites. The crop is purely for cover and does not provide feed so bare patches may be left unplanted to provide areas for artificial feeding. Sowing rate 2.5kgs/acre untreated


Sorghum is a tall semi-tropical non cob producing, maize like plant which will provide cover throughout the shooting season. It thrives best in warm, sunny growing conditions and is more suited for the southern regions of the UK. Sorghum is a very slow establishing plant and does not begin to flourish until late July. Sowing Rate12kgs/acre

  • Giant Sorghum - Approximately 2 metres tall or more and is extremely useful as a windbreak to protect more vulnerable crops.
  • Sorghum (Intermediate & Dwarf) Useful as a windbreak around other game cover crops, it provides Pheasants and Partridges with protection from overhead predators. Has an attractive seed head.



Kale is still one of the most popular cover crops used today. The main advantage of Kale is that it will provide cover for the whole of the shooting season. Pheasants particularly like the combination of a good canopy and bare ground which allows easy movement in a relatively dry environment. Sowing Rate 2kgs/acre


A fast growing brassica, which will provide cover within 6 weeks of sowing. Due to its rapid bolting tendency Jonty is best planted in early autumn as a rescue crop.

Texsel Greens

An easy to establish, frost hardy cover crop. Their rapid growth is ideal for suppressing weeds.

Forage Rape

Forage Rape is particularly useful in that it can be used as a rescue or catch crop, continuing until the New Year when it flowers and goes to seed. A well grown crop with adequate spacing between rows will provide good cover for holding, driving and feeding. It is largely unaffected by frost and dry weather. Sowing rate 2.5 - 4kgs /acre

Miscellaneous Crops


Provides tall dense cover which tolerates adverse growing conditions and remains green well in to the autumn. Sowing rate 500kgs/acre


A rapidly growing short term crop highly attractive to pheasants, partridges and deer both as cover and feed. The large amount of nectar produced attracts bees and insects which in turn provide added interest for game birds. It is useful in mixtures due to its bulkiness and its ability to continue to provide holding cover and feed after the first frosts when the crop has fallen. Buckwheat thrives best in sunny rather than shaded areas. Sowing rate 20kgs/acre


Mustard is relatively inexpensive and highly versatile cover crop sown alone or as a companion crop. It is ideal for early cover and although killed off by frost, the fallen woody stems will create shelter for the birds below. This is especially useful when sown with seed producing crops which alone would provide no cover. Popular as a green manure crop. Sowing Rate 5kgs/acre

Brown Mustard

It is a green manure crop which suppresses soil borne pests and diseases. It is easy to establish 50 -70 day crop that can be grown between April and September and unlike convention varieties of mustard it is winter hardy. It will improve the health of your soil by increasing organic matter and acts as an excellent weed suppressant. It is also especially useful as over-wintering green cover after Maize, Potatoes and Sugar Beet Crops, reducing soil erosion, fertilizer leeching and water run-off. Sowing Rate 2-3kgs/acre

Fodder Radish

A fast growing cover crop, its prime usefulness being where brassica sickness is a problem due to it immunity. Its speed of establishment aids weed suppression, and its use as a green manure crop. It is useful as a catch crop in northern regions if sown in July as it will be ready to provide cover within 6-8weeks, just as the birds are losing cover from cereals. Fodder Radish is not winter hardy.

Perennial Chicory

Creates tall dense cover, bolting in its second year to create a flowering hedge, useful where a perimeter barrier is required. Good tolerance to drought, acid soils and major pests, doesn't like its feet wet. Sowing Rate 2kg/acre


Quinoa is capable of producing a plentiful amount of seed and therefore is a popular choice of crop for holding partridges and pheasants. Many species of seed-eating song-birds are also attracted to the crop. Commonly grown with Kale, the Quinoa provides cover and feed until it begins to collapse in the first frosts with the Kale providing more permanent cover. Sowing Rate 2kgs/acre

Yellow Blossom Clover

A biennial plant which can persist for several years due to its self-regenerating properties. Owing to its sweet smell and copious production of nectar it is highly attractive to insects, which in turn attract game birds and wildlife. Being leguminous and deep rooting it is invaluable for improving soil structure and fertility. Sowing Rate 2.5kgs/acre


Traditionally grown for oil, it has become popular in recent years as game cover and is particularly attractive to partridges. It is an easy crop to grow and is tolerant of many soil types. Although not frost hardy it will continue to provide cover and interest well into the winter especially if grown as a mixture. 25kgs/acre


A wheat/rye hybrid cereal providing good cover and feed in marginal low fertility areas where it will thrive with little input. It is good at withstanding Rabbits; it is winter hardy and has good disease resistance. Sowing Rate 50kgs/acre

For other mixtures, current prices and further information just contact Alan or Alison at or call 01259 760400 at anytime.