100% spring cropping

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
I am just old enough to remember when we began drilling winter crops. It was late 1970's or early 1980's when we had a run of wet springs and couldn't get the spring crops in early enough. It rained so hard one April it took the bridge to the farm out. But from that time onwards we seemed to gradually build up a population of grass weeds and cranesbill that were hitherto unknown. We had also never known serious manganese defficiency and frost heave.

Spring cropping on the sand is easy. The clay is more difficult, but I reckon plough it early enough to get some weathering on it, but late enough so it doesn't have time to slump too much and it should be OK.

Trying to get winter crops in on the clay is problematic. Direct drilling is very risky. Gets too sticky very quickly which forces early drilling and all the agronomic problems that brings. Plough behind the combine and you get a reasonable tilth by October but again you have to drill by 4th October to avoid getting it too sticky. Ploughing so early generally also means burying unchitted weed seed and volunteers down in the profile which come up again sooner or later. It can also dry out and set like lumps of concrete.

I am also wary of becoming over reliant on roundup. I can see it going eventually and don't like overusing it anyway. Late, but not early autumn ploughing helps reduce roundup usage. Weeds are generally still small enough by drilling time to be destroyed by predrilling cultivation.

It's all about trying to develop a cheap and simple robust system that doesn't rely on too many chemicals.
 

rob1

Member
Location
wiltshire
I am just old enough to remember when we began drilling winter crops. It was late 1970's or early 1980's when we had a run of wet springs and couldn't get the spring crops in early enough. It rained so hard one April it took the bridge to the farm out. But from that time onwards we seemed to gradually build up a population of grass weeds and cranesbill that were hitherto unknown. We had also never known serious manganese defficiency and frost heave.

Spring cropping on the sand is easy. The clay is more difficult, but I reckon plough it early enough to get some weathering on it, but late enough so it doesn't have time to slump too much and it should be OK.

Trying to get winter crops in on the clay is problematic. Direct drilling is very risky. Gets too sticky very quickly which forces early drilling and all the agronomic problems that brings. Plough behind the combine and you get a reasonable tilth by October but again you have to drill by 4th October to avoid getting it too sticky. Ploughing so early generally also means burying unchitted weed seed and volunteers down in the profile which come up again sooner or later. It can also dry out and set like lumps of concrete.

I am also wary of becoming over reliant on roundup. I can see it going eventually and don't like overusing it anyway. Late, but not early autumn ploughing helps reduce roundup usage. Weeds are generally still small enough by drilling time to be destroyed by predrilling cultivation.

It's all about trying to develop a cheap and simple robust system that doesn't rely on too many chemicals.
I think doing the same thing year in year out leads to problems
 
in 2013 after 2012 autumn
half the wheat ( slugs and pre em and black grass ) and all the winter rape failed
planted for most of april 2013
spring barley did better than some of the wheat that was left and spring rape out yielded winter spring linseed into choped straw never again
spring beans produced the best margin
on heavy land
spring crops need half the imputs to winter and in the longer run reduce the winter crops herbicide costs on top of needing a lot less drilling and spraying capacity reducing capital requirement

lessons learnt
a layer of chopped straw helps prevent the top drying out it is not possible to plant all the crops in a 3 day window
patience always pays drilling early when it is not quiet fit is worse than drilling 2 weeks later
mole drain close to drilling just before or just after (twin leg ) 1/3 less power and fuel compared to autumn
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
I am not ruling out winter crops. Just trying to formulate an approach that copes with very different soil types and some difficult weeds, loss of actives, extreme weather, loss of seed dressings.

Clay,
To drill in the autumn,
we have to plough straight behind combine to get enough weathering. It won't drill if freshly ploughed. But weeds/volunteers can overrun early ploughed clay here. So the compromise is plough a fortnight after the combine, maybe then work it down a bit and spray off the weeds/volunteers if they are too big before cultivating and drilling in the autumn. We can't really drill beyond 4th October on average so still time for big flush of BG in the crop.

To drill in the spring, plough the clay as late as possible but not so late that it won't have time to weather. Probably October/November if its not too wet,otherwise wait till early spring, e.g. February.



Sand,
To drill in the autumn, plough, as it is now the only way to clear the cranesbill (and also deals with the clay in the same fields.) Winter crop will prevent erosion.

To drill in spring, use stubble cultivator in the autumn to chit and kill weed and volunteers. In the spring, use stubble cultivator or Paraplow and power Harrow to produce seedbed, possibly after a dose of roundup. Trash prevents wind blow. Moisture reasonably well conserved.

Just trying to formulate a considered approach for my circumstances.
 

Chae1

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Or no crops if the price doesn’t improve a lot!
Should just grow 2t/acre concerto. Minimum inputs.

Wouldn't be any worse off than growing over 3t on high inputs.

Only people that would lose out is suppliers.

The screenings etc seem to be going up out of same piles as harvest goes on.
 

Sandy

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Should just grow 2t/acre concerto. Minimum inputs.

Wouldn't be any worse off than growing over 3t on high inputs.

Only people that would lose out is suppliers.

The screenings etc seem to be going up out of same piles as harvest goes on.
Aye the sheds will be filling up any excuse to get it even cheaper!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
186,718
Messages
4,253,729
Members
46,791
Latest member
Wilbur L
Top