Establishing cover crops quandry

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling Crops & Agronomy' started by Warp Land Farmer, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Warp Land Farmer

    Location:
    Hazzard County
    For both EFA and general cover crops, typical mixes I'm thinking of have various seed sizes which require various establishment depths.... I keep reading that drilling much below 10mm for the small seeds will severely hamper their germination, but that's too shallow for other seeds in the mix....

    Say something likes oats + phacelia + buckwheat + vetch / clover...

    Is it best to tank mix them and drill them (disc drill) together very shallow or...

    ...broadcast on the phacelia and vetch with a spinner on the back of the quad then drill the oats and buckwheat at a depth (the drilling process will put a spread of soil on some of the broadcast seed) or...

    ...the same process but opposite way around - drill then broadcast?

    Any operation with the broadcasting would get rolled at the end.

    Most likely straw will be baled beforehand.

    Thoughts and folks experiences appreciated.
     
  2. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    Try and keep things simple IMO. What kind of drill do you have? Beware of spinning mixes n - the different species will fly different distances & you will end up with stripey crops.

    Can you buy a second hand Techneat or Stocks to put some seed on between the main rows or behind the coulters for the shallower work?
     
  3. Warp Land Farmer

    Location:
    Hazzard County
    Moore Unidrill, it has a Hostain applicator set up for avadex, would that put the small seeds on?
     
  4. Simon Chiles

    Simon Chiles DD Moderator

    I wouldn't worry about drilling vetch deep as it has hypogeal germination and spinning phacelia on is a waste of phacelia seed as it is photo dormant. The only one of those that is probably best spun on would be the clover but if you can set the seeding depth up accurately then 3/4 to one inch deep would be ok for all of those..
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    martian, York, Brisel and 1 other person like this.
  5. Warp Land Farmer

    Location:
    Hazzard County
    Thankyou Simon, that's a great helpful reply - if all drilled would you also roll afterwards?
     
  6. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    Photo dormant? Won't germinate in sunlight so needs to be buried? Same as blackgrass, cereal volunteers, sterile brome but not oilseed rape, meadow brome or wild oats?
     
  7. Spud

    Spud Member

    Location:
    YO62
    We usually spin the mustard on with a slug pelleter, then direct drill the oats straight behind. Roll, if at all possible.
    That said, last year I mixed the seed together before drilling, and it was fine.
     
  8. Simon Chiles

    Simon Chiles DD Moderator

    I would. If your ground is anything like as dry as it is here, and bearing in mind that you want to be seeding as close behind the combine as possible, then I'd suggest that normally, in these conditions with low soil moisture, seed to soil contact is key.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    Brisel likes this.
  9. Phacelia needs to be drilled. It won't grow on the surface. It and vetch will be fine drilled an inch deep with the cereals.
     
    Warp Land Farmer likes this.
  10. dontknowanything

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I've never seen a benefit rolling covers (or pretty much anything else in DD)
     
  11. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    That depends on how low disturbance your drill is. The Moore isn't bad but every bit of consolidation helps at this time of year.
     
  12. Err, never had anything much to do with rolls as such, but with 25 yrs of zero till in a generally dry environment I will say that presswheels or some form of furrow consolidation to ensure good seed / soil contact is a vital component of the success of zero till planting
     
    Brisel likes this.
  13. dontknowanything

    Location:
    Cambridge
    You may notice I referred to rolls, not drills
     
  14. I've always felt better for doing it though
     
  15. dontknowanything

    Location:
    Cambridge
    I think it was @martian who said how boring rolling is when you can't see where you've gone, and I have to agree. Rolling a ploughed field is great.
     
  16. I've taken ploughing away from Dad, taken rotorvating, taken cultivating..I can't bring myself to take away rolling from him.
     
    Brisel, chester, mikep and 1 other person like this.
  17. You might need smaller rotors in horstine as 14 mm averdex ones would run too slow and bunch seed who do you use for horstine averdex calibration and testing ,Richard 07534 948361 calibrated ours for different products when he did mot
     

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