100% spring cropping

Banana Bar

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Whats not to like?
Harvest, light cultivation whilst planting cover crop, spray off in December/ January, direct drill as soon as conditions are right in the spring. Massive reduction in fixed costs, cash flow is as easy as it gets, no pressure on the sprayer, seasonal labour requirements are slashed. Plenty of time in the autumn to catch up with mole draining. Need a decent spring I know but it sounds attractive.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
It's very tempting to go down that route here, especially with the vastly improved Spring barley varieties. They have delivered better than any other crop for us with direct drilling in the spring. Usually by then crop residues have broken down or the turnips have been grazed off by the sheep. Cheap and simple system for us on land that doesn't grow decent wheat.
I would spend a lot less on inputs and have a lot less worry with grass, Spring barley, maybe some beet and turnips for grazing.

Winter wheat and OSR have become an absolute pain. Yes giving it serious thought.
 

Pan mixer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Near Colchester
One year in 3 it doesn't rain after you drill it, one year in 3 it rains so much that you can't drill it until too late.

Low yield, have to grow barley really, malting quality difficulties, low feed price.

It tends to be ready for harvest later when the weather can get worse very quickly.

I grow mostly Spring cropping - I have tee shirt.

Cheap to grow, lesser herbicide cost especially if you have blackgrass - 2 x 2 L glypho for me and one low dose hormone at £3 per Ha.

Fingers crossed that this may be the 1 year in 3 when it is all right.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
dry spring followed by drought?....wet spring.....all eggs in one basket?
You'd be surprised how modern Spring barley copes better than winter wheat with drought here. The wheat always dies before finishing and all those expensive inputs don't reach potential. Nice grain but too small.

The Spring barley was only in the ground a hundred days last year and out yielded the winter wheat for a lot less input cost. It was Westminster. A feeder. This year we have RGT planet and it's the best looking crop on the farm so far. Two fungicides, one herbicide pass, a few minerals. Direct drilled into stubble turnip aftermath. The one crop I am happy with.
 

richard hammond

Member
Agronomist
Whats not to like?
Harvest, light cultivation whilst planting cover crop, spray off in December/ January, direct drill as soon as conditions are right in the spring. Massive reduction in fixed costs, cash flow is as easy as it gets, no pressure on the sprayer, seasonal labour requirements are slashed. Plenty of time in the autumn to catch up with mole draining. Need a decent spring I know but it sounds attractive.
Just do it, this system has been the making and survival of some farms when WW was £60/tonne, still works today , same principals apply.
 

T Hectares

Member
Location
Berkshire
Springs like last year followed by drought, like last year are the downsides that spring to mind...

Being able to export Spring malting barley competitively is another

Loss of CTL could hit Barley disease control more than wheat??

Spring wheat underwhelming

Spring Oats, variable

Spring beans a disaster last year, looking better this year

Linseed and Spring rape have to be grown once every 10 years to remind you why bit to bother

Peas, no thanks on my Flint soil!!

Personally I've gone for a 1/3rd spring cropping ( S Barley) a good balance that works for me, and my Wheat's looking like taking my in house ( in my head ) " crop of the year award "

WW still the best financially performing crop here despite the bg, and with it only grown on a 1/3rd of the area now it's easier to drill late for bg and bydv
 

Banana Bar

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Springs like last year followed by drought, like last year are the downsides that spring to mind...

Being able to export Spring malting barley competitively is another

Loss of CTL could hit Barley disease control more than wheat??

Spring wheat underwhelming

Spring Oats, variable

Spring beans a disaster last year, looking better this year

Linseed and Spring rape have to be grown once every 10 years to remind you why bit to bother

Peas, no thanks on my Flint soil!!

Personally I've gone for a 1/3rd spring cropping ( S Barley) a good balance that works for me, and my Wheat's looking like taking my in house ( in my head ) " crop of the year award "

WW still the best financially performing crop here despite the bg, and with it only grown on a 1/3rd of the area now it's easier to drill late for bg and bydv
Agree wheat best performing GM but once you look at possible fixed cost reduction would it change the financials, my guess ( not calculated) is that it would be pretty close. Dodgy spring either too wet or too dry is the big risk.
 

T Hectares

Member
Location
Berkshire
Agree wheat best performing GM but once you look at possible fixed cost reduction would it change the financials, my guess ( not calculated) is that it would be pretty close. Dodgy spring either too wet or too dry is the big risk.
Not sure, you'd still need a big drill and combine to get over the same area??
Savings on cultivations and smaller tractors maybe.

I would look at a maybe 2/3rds spring cropping first.

Decent first wheats drilled later on a smaller area are a good banker and have less of the costs and issues of mid September drilled wheats
 

ajd132

Member
Location
Suffolk
Agree wheat best performing GM but once you look at possible fixed cost reduction would it change the financials, my guess ( not calculated) is that it would be pretty close. Dodgy spring either too wet or too dry is the big risk.
Not sure fixed costs can be reduced any more from a 50:50. You would have a lot of crops to drill in a very short space of time. Remember the 4.5 day make or break spring crop drill period last year?
 

Chae1

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Was at a farm on Tuesday growing over 2000 acres of spring barley, all established with 6m combi. Some fields had been continuous spring barley for over 30 years. Was in a wheat field, that had grown continuous wheat since 1987! One year it was spring wheat due to a wet harvest/autumn.
 
I am wondering about this too, previous tenant selected for early Spring germinated blackgrass successfully with continuous (and later and later drilled) WW
In my lifetime, I'm 54, I've seen fields go through stages where certain weeds seem to be the biggest problem & that is sorted & a different weed becomes the problem.

In the 70's Dad found this terrible new weed that we imported in straw. It was the cleaver we never had any before, I presume because it is quite easy to hoe or comb weed out. The "Clean corn" herbicide of the time bought in steel drums did not touch it. With Starane now used we never see it.

We had charlock infested land, where eventually there was no charlock but became infested with Shepherds purse (we are veg growers). This has now been resolved but bindweed & red shank are more prevalant.

Sterile brome is number one problem now, I'm not even sure what blackgrass looks like, that could change.
 

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Machinery destroyed in latest of 4 farm arson attacks

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Written by Agriland Team

Machinery was destroyed – along with a shed and a number of bales – in an overnight farm fire in Co. Down over the weekend – which is the latest in a series of shed fires believed to be started deliberately.

In a statement on social media, local members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed the news of the incident, which took place near Banbridge...
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