Can you DD in any soil type?

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling General Discussion' started by Farmercalmer, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Farmercalmer

    Farmercalmer New Member

    East Midlands
    I`m intrigued by no-til. I would love it to work on my farm. Can you DD into any soil type or does it work best on kinder land? I`m on flat, drained, high mag clay soil. BG is a big problem. Late Autumn drilling is difficult as it`s usually too wet after mid October. Spring cropping gives good margins but we`ve had some easy Springs of late. I like using sewage sludge to build up soil fertility. It has transformed some fields. I would like to continue to use it but DD other years. Thoughts appreciated from No-til practioners.
    Adeptandy likes this.
  2. I'd say yes. Does it work better on kinder land? Yes, I expect everything works better on kinder land. If your drains are good then you've got something to help.

    Get someone who knows what they are doing to come and drill a few fields - don't give them your worst field or at least if you do give them a good field too.

    Whats a easy spring? I find every spring to be a mixture of wet and dry. I'll never maul a spring crop in if I can help it as a dryer day is only days away
  3. We are on high mag soils and surface ponding can be a real problem along with smeared slots. The solution is to get as much OM onto the land as possible, we are using FYM, sewage sludge and this Spring, poultry manure. We have also put on loads of gypsum over the last twelve months. We are growing as many cover crops as possible on land where BG is not too much of a problem. Our rotation has gone out of the window and we now tend to plant what ever crop is best suited to the soil and prevailing conditions (now 50%spring crops).
  4. Spencer

    Spencer Member

    North West
  5. Farmercalmer

    Farmercalmer New Member

    East Midlands
    I`m applying lots of OM in the form of sludge and FYM. I`ve applied lots of gypsum as well. It has had a dramatic effect on one or two fields in particular. Has anyone seen a reduction in BG as a result of No_til or is No_til only viable in the absence of BG?
  6. Mine rainfall is high but it dries up quicker. That said I don't think rainfall per se matters - drainage might and timing might
    Brisel likes this.
  7. Spencer

    Spencer Member

    North West
    How high is high? Ours is 1400mm. We have drainage "issues" which we are working on and as far as I can see is the first place to start..
  8. As long as its dry enough at seeding time in the spring and autumn and that in the autumn you don't think your going to have lots of standing water from nov-march then I don't really see it matters much what your rainfall is
    Spencer likes this.
  9. But many people will disagree with me and say you have to plough to sort out all issues so don't take my word for it - just get your head around what you want to do and crack on and make it work!
  10. Spencer

    Spencer Member

    North West
    Never been one to run with the flock.. Righty or wrongly, plough is going next month!
    Nick. and martian like this.
  11. mikep

    mikep Member

    Not so much as the rainfall pattern in fact. We are in a very dry area but the pattern of rainfall has changed and we seem to be getting long v wet spells and then long dry. As someone pointed out the most important thing is the weather from planting until emergence once emerged it has a good chance. Plant as soon as you can especially as you are probably BG free.
  12. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Good to hear you're improving the soil organic matter levels - that's a critical part of DD's long term success.

    The grass weed problem is an interesting one. I'd say that they would get worse before they get better as you "convert" to no till. Spring cropping is an essential part & controlling blackgrass outside the crop is one of the best tools, whatever your establishment system. If you're thinking about no till as a away of cleaning your ground up then that's not enough. No till is a whole system, not a simple exchange of one establishment method for another.

    Do make sure your soil structure and drainage are fixed, or it will never work. Join BASE UK and go to see lots of farmers who have been doing no till for a while. I don't know exactly where you are based but Tony Reynolds, @shakerator @yellowbelly @Bob lincs are just a few practitioners

    Welcome to the "dark side!" :D
    rob1 likes this.
  13. Simon Chiles

    Simon Chiles DD Moderator

    The answer to your question about whether it works on all soil types is that it is possible. I've drilled soils ranging from light chalk to heavy mg clay. Quite a bit of the high mg clay I drill hasn't even got drains, or at least none that I'm aware off. I'd be cautious about visiting farms with decent soils, apart from anything else it might make you wonder why you bother.
  14. marco

    marco Member

    tipperary, ireland
    If your on tough ground you may need Autumn covers as well. I.e. if your following a winter crop with another winter crop to keep the ground open

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