FG BUY&SELL        FARMERS WEATHER       ARABLE FARMING        DAIRY FARMER      FARMERS GUARDIAN        AGRIMONEY        OUR EVENTS        MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS        BLOGS        MORE FROM US
You are here: News > Insights
Search

You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Steve Heard: The temptation to start drilling proves too strong, but kind weather helps

Insights

It is all very well for the agronomy experts to promote delayed drilling for improved black-grass control, but doing nothing is a whole lot more stressful than it sounds.

Twitter Facebook

Having promised myself I would wait until the 10th month, we inevitably started just a few days early. Perhaps next year I shall be braver, but using our new i-specification Deere drill for the first time meant we needed to allow time for any potential teething problems. Fortunately there were remarkably few. So after gaining confidence within some lightly cultivated fields, we then put the new machine properly to test direct drilling wheat into spring bean stubble, with very pleasing results.

 

I am hopeful long-term we will perhaps eliminate virtually all cultivations, but our improving soils are not at that stage yet. In the meantime we will monitor the differences within our crops, as we compare numerous different cultivations prior to the two different drills and alongside some zero till establishment. It will be disappointing if the new practices are not seen to outperform the old established system.

Logistics

Comforted by the knowledge I now had two nine-metre drills fully operational, we then waited until October. Running two large seeders sounds a luxury but the logistics of managing seed, fertiliser, slug pellets and Avadex granules in separate places can be a challenge and the one set of ring rolls were very busy.

 

Thankfully the weather forecasters were accurate, both drills were finished and pre-emergence sprays applied before the heavy rains arrived. We still have one field as a later drilling experiment to be done and some contract work, but I am now glad we had not waited any longer.

 

Our rolled seedbeds are some of my best ever and sprayed using doubled or triple water rates applied as a fine spray for ultimate coverage. If this season’s residual chemistry does not perform to expectation, it cannot be blamed on application technique or any lack of soil moisture.

 

With Louise’s home-grown black-grass trial still now only at 53 per cent germination, surely later drilling heavy land can never be the whole answer and we are still bound to rely on some chemical solutions.

Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More Insights

Stepping up milk from forage with improved management

Attention to detailed grazing and forage conservation management is helping the Mason family’s 10,300 litre organic herd in Herefordshire to take 40 per cent of total milk from forage. Farmers Guardian reports.

Making 5,000 dairy cows pay in South Africa's desert

A KEEN focus on data and analytics has enabled the Loubser family to maximise production from their 5,000-head dairy in the extreme conditions of South Africa’s Western Cape.

New mastitis threat going undiagnosed - we take a look at the symptoms and treatments

A new type of udder infection could be going widely undiagnosed on-farm and could be to blame for recurrent mastitis cases, as Aly Balsom finds out.

First generation farmer is creating Damn Delicious produce from grass

Michael Shannon uses a meticulous business approach to create his distinctive beef brand. Danusia Osiowy reports.

'I find sharing tups a useful way of getting into better breeding'

Believing the Texel breed is the UK’s number one commercial terminal sire, Ben Vernon has his sights set high both for his flock and the breed. In the second of a series celebrating young breeders, Jonathan Long visits Derbyshire to find out more.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds