DD an idiots guide please!

Does such thing exists? I know all farms and soils are different but the 10 top critical points would be very helpful for many people.
Where I’m struggling is that we’re a small mixed farm and getting straw off in a wet year always makes a mess (turning,baling,stacking and then loading) and then putting the muck back on seems to cause issues too (heavy kit and 6-8m spread) I go low as possible with tyres and I’ve banned the telehandler in field,use loader tractor instead but even that needs the fronts at min 22psi for safety. We just seem to have so much wheelings it sometimes seem a pointless battle, I’ve a 3m gd and lots of small fields. I’m praying my soils get better as the years go on but most just aren’t there yet! I’m a tenant so every acre needs to pay every year, I’ve some awful crops after this winter. Please only constructive advice, I’ve had enough of the fellow forum bashers/dick waivers. I’m hoping to go to Groundswell this year but it’s a bit pricey for two of us and normally silaging then.
 
DD is not for everyone, if a farm has a rent to pay and livestock or root crops to consider then just perhaps some well depreciated and looked after kit is the best option.
 

Banana Bar

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I’ve come across this before where straw seems to be the cause of many complications where direct drilling. If the issues are so huge does the cost of buying in straw outweigh the advantage of easier / more successful direct drilling?
 

EddieB

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Staffs
Good source on a information is BASE UK, certainly worth the subscription.
My biggest poorest crops have come from drilling in poor conditions, DD is less forgiving in this respect than the plough. Try and alleviate compaction with subsoiling, the need to do this should diminish as your soils improve. Make sure that your drainage is adequate too.
It’s not always perfect but I generally see less waterlogged soil and less drought stress as the soil becomes better at holding water.
Catch crops are useful to keep soils working between cash crops too.
 

E_B

Member
Location
Norfolk
Are you baling rounds? They don't make much of a mark here on heavy ground with a V660. Carting them I just keep to tramlines, if it's going to turn wet I set all bales out in a trailer load ready so I only trample down the area around the trailer. We are in the south east where life might be a bit easier in this regard.

Honestly sounds like you would be better off with a strip till drill. Pefection is the enemy of good.
 
I’ve come across this before where straw seems to be the cause of many complications where direct drilling. If the issues are so huge does the cost of buying in straw outweigh the advantage of easier / more successful direct drilling?
Straw was £100/t this year, plus I know my own straw is mainly blackgrass free! Dry ground conditions at harvest and it’s not a problem, I’m doing some targeted Ld subsoiling this autumn to hopefully rectify some of the issues (plus hopefully plenty of mole ploughing) the worse fields this winter were the last ones we had potatoes in 2/3 years ago.
 

TWF

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Peterborough
Does such thing exists? I know all farms and soils are different but the 10 top critical points would be very helpful for many people.
Where I’m struggling is that we’re a small mixed farm and getting straw off in a wet year always makes a mess (turning,baling,stacking and then loading) and then putting the muck back on seems to cause issues too (heavy kit and 6-8m spread) I go low as possible with tyres and I’ve banned the telehandler in field,use loader tractor instead but even that needs the fronts at min 22psi for safety. We just seem to have so much wheelings it sometimes seem a pointless battle, I’ve a 3m gd and lots of small fields. I’m praying my soils get better as the years go on but most just aren’t there yet! I’m a tenant so every acre needs to pay every year, I’ve some awful crops after this winter. Please only constructive advice, I’ve had enough of the fellow forum bashers/dick waivers. I’m hoping to go to Groundswell this year but it’s a bit pricey for two of us and normally silaging then.
York an old member on here always had some jems of information. This is one of his easier bits of advise to desifer as he ofturn talks in riddles to make you resurch the subject your self.
 
Midlands Farmer, you are not alone. I have been DD for 6 years now, taking straw off and spreading muck on but the last two wet years over here in the west have been testing. This spring i have either had to cultivate wheel marks out , which i did not want to do, or drill deeper which sometimes ends up in poor crop emergence .As said , with straw this year at £135 ton it pays as much as the crop and with plenty of muck to go back, it is hard to chop it, so even though it seems like a backward step, i have been looking at strip tills this spring. If we were confident that wheat and barley would stay around the £200 mark and straw back down to £60 and the seasons go back to normal there would be no problem, but WHO KNOWS.
 

mo!

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
York
We tried the strip till thing in a similar situation, narrow kit and unforgiving land. We gave up and went back to cultivation. Good luck.
 

delilah

Member
I’ve come across this before where straw seems to be the cause of many complications where direct drilling. If the issues are so huge does the cost of buying in straw outweigh the advantage of easier / more successful direct drilling?

I have started to dip into this section of the forum, purely and simply to gather evidence that ELMS should not be used to subsidize DD. I don't have to look far. Buy straw in rather than use your own, solely to allow you to DD ? WTAF ?
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Does such thing exists? I know all farms and soils are different but the 10 top critical points would be very helpful for many people.
Where I’m struggling is that we’re a small mixed farm and getting straw off in a wet year always makes a mess (turning,baling,stacking and then loading) and then putting the muck back on seems to cause issues too (heavy kit and 6-8m spread) I go low as possible with tyres and I’ve banned the telehandler in field,use loader tractor instead but even that needs the fronts at min 22psi for safety. We just seem to have so much wheelings it sometimes seem a pointless battle, I’ve a 3m gd and lots of small fields. I’m praying my soils get better as the years go on but most just aren’t there yet! I’m a tenant so every acre needs to pay every year, I’ve some awful crops after this winter. Please only constructive advice, I’ve had enough of the fellow forum bashers/dick waivers. I’m hoping to go to Groundswell this year but it’s a bit pricey for two of us and normally silaging then.
My advice would be to have a tine drill too.
An old simtech, or claydon, or a converted free flow.
They will make it work in the years the gd doesn't.
But also rotation, cereals following cereals are a challenge.
Not impossible, but a challenge.
Drilling at an angle will help massively.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I have started to dip into this section of the forum, purely and simply to gather evidence that ELMS should not be used to subsidize DD. I don't have to look far. Buy straw in rather than use your own, solely to allow you to DD ? WTAF ?
Seems to like slug pellets as well and massive tractors to lift and pull the things.
Day might come when robots do it all tho, zap the pests with lazers and selectively weed , infact robot rabbit killer would suit us atm tbh.
 

Two Tone

Member
Mixed Farmer
I have started to dip into this section of the forum, purely and simply to gather evidence that ELMS should not be used to subsidize DD. I don't have to look far. Buy straw in rather than use your own, solely to allow you to DD ? WTAF ?
Then you fail miserably and deservedly so!
Your straw argument is utterly irrelevant.

ELMS is about the Environment and will pay for those who can farm in a more Environmentally sensitive way. The pure fact that DD saves so much energy and is far better for many soils than any other form of farming that involves cultivation, is environmentally better, cannot be denied and is recognised as environmentally better which therefore will be financially rewarded by ELMS.

More fool you for not recognising this and even worse, wanting anybody not to be rewarded for farming in any sort of a more environmentally beneficial way.
Such an attitude and your post 13 is utterly disgraceful!
Grow up!
 

delilah

Member
Then you fail miserably and deservedly so!
Your straw argument is utterly irrelevant.

ELMS is about the Environment and will pay for those who can farm in a more Environmentally sensitive way. The pure fact that DD saves so much energy and is far better for many soils than any other form of farming that involves cultivation, is environmentally better, cannot be denied and is recognised as environmentally better which thereforeu will be financially rewarded by ELMS.

More fool you for not recognising this and even worse, wanting anybody not to be rewarded for farming in any sort of a more environmentally beneficial way.
Such an attitude and your post 13 is utterly disgraceful!
Grow up!

Any chance of commenting on the point I was making: That buying in straw, rather than using your own, in order to allow you to DD, seems dubious ?
And before you start ranting at me for making that suggestion, it wasn't my suggestion, I was merely questioning the suggestion as made by someone else.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
I have started to dip into this section of the forum, purely and simply to gather evidence that ELMS should not be used to subsidize DD. I don't have to look far. Buy straw in rather than use your own, solely to allow you to DD ? WTAF ?

You’d do yourself a favour if you didn’t believe all you read on here. Straw baling is a major part of my business, we’ve done it in conjunction with direct drilling for more years than almost anyone else on here. High rainfall ( sometimes up to a metre a year), heavy soil, mixed farms, spreading muck etc are all still possible with direct drilling. Personally I think you’ve got a lot of miss-conceptions about dd however we do both agree on one thing, I too don’t think ELMS should be used to subsidise dd.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Then you fail miserably and deservedly so!
Your straw argument is utterly irrelevant.

ELMS is about the Environment and will pay for those who can farm in a more Environmentally sensitive way. The pure fact that DD saves so much energy and is far better for many soils than any other form of farming that involves cultivation, is environmentally better, cannot be denied and is recognised as environmentally better which therefore will be financially rewarded by ELMS.

More fool you for not recognising this and even worse, wanting anybody not to be rewarded for farming in any sort of a more environmentally beneficial way.
Such an attitude and your post 13 is utterly disgraceful!
Grow up!

Nobody could be more pro dd than me, I’ve been doing longer than almost anyone else on here and I’m all for farming in an environmentally friendly way . However I think it’s dubious to state that all dd is better for the environment than cultivating. It is very definitely is in an all arable situation but when you start looking at small mixed farms that incorporate a lot of fym and don’t buy in much fertiliser then it starts to become more complicated. I think that by gearing ELMS to suit big arable operations it endangers the existence of smaller mixed farms.
 

Spud

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
YO62
Does such thing exists? I know all farms and soils are different but the 10 top critical points would be very helpful for many people.
Where I’m struggling is that we’re a small mixed farm and getting straw off in a wet year always makes a mess (turning,baling,stacking and then loading) and then putting the muck back on seems to cause issues too (heavy kit and 6-8m spread) I go low as possible with tyres and I’ve banned the telehandler in field,use loader tractor instead but even that needs the fronts at min 22psi for safety. We just seem to have so much wheelings it sometimes seem a pointless battle, I’ve a 3m gd and lots of small fields. I’m praying my soils get better as the years go on but most just aren’t there yet! I’m a tenant so every acre needs to pay every year, I’ve some awful crops after this winter. Please only constructive advice, I’ve had enough of the fellow forum bashers/dick waivers. I’m hoping to go to Groundswell this year but it’s a bit pricey for two of us and normally silaging then.

Interesting.

What is your crop rotation?
We bale our straw with a square baler with Flintstone sledge behind, so bales are in pairs, which reduces field traffic considerably. In very wet years we sometimes put a home made spike on the back of our MF3075 (it weighs 4.5t and wears 540 Michelin XM108 tyres) to cart the bales down the tramlines to the trailer on the headland. I guess another spike on the front would help too.

I started by direct drilling spring break crops (lower risk) and have done some wheat after beans and spring barley after winter barley. The key is the cover crop preceding the cash crop - remove any compaction before you sow the cover, and don't get the cc too thick, or the weeds wont grow, and you'll struggle to get the soil dry enough to sow in spring.

Beware of drills without contour following like converted Freeflows - you don't need much of an undulation to have a big % difference in drilling depth

Where in the rotation do you apply your muck? How do you incorporate it?

Ours goes before roots on the lighter land, and before spring oats (dd'd into a cover) or second wheat (usually min til) on the heavier stuff. We've seen much more benefit from the muck by not ploughing it down too.

Good luck - the more I learn the less I know!
 

delilah

Member
Personally I think you’ve got a lot of miss-conceptions about dd however we do both agree on one thing, I too don’t think ELMS should be used to subsidise dd.

I've no problem with DD; have said on here on several occasions that I see it as having a bright future as a crop establishment option.
Was going to ask your reason for thinking ELMS shouldn't subsidize DD but see you've given it. I agree with that, and would suggest there are plenty of others.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
I've no problem with DD; have said on here on several occasions that I see it as having a bright future as a crop establishment option.
Was going to ask your reason for thinking ELMS shouldn't subsidize DD but see you've given it. I agree with that, and would suggest there are plenty of others.


Puts any attempt to save the planet into context. The ruling elite do not really care.
 

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