GS4 herbal ley establishment options

SpottedFlycatcher

Member
Mixed Farmer
Hi all, I'm a newbie to crop establishment, especially in these conditions (weather, costs etc) and would appreciate some advice. We are in W Northants on clay/loam.

We aim to establish 30 ha of GS4 (ryegrass, Timothy, other grasses, clover, trefoil, other legumes and flowers) this autumn, following barley as part of our new rotation. General advice is to establish a firm, fine seedbed, and sowing depth is within the top cm, ideally by end of August. Of course moisture is required which is the main issue at the moment - last rain was 1 July (6 mm) and we have had 215 mm all year.

Our past approach would have been to cultivate, roll, drill (Kockerling or similar) and roll again, and have had good results in terms of establishment (early cut in May removes volunteers and weeds). We will probably apply some FYM.

Barley is in, straw has been baled and not much residue / trash left.

Given the high costs of diesel, and wanting to move soil as little as possible, we have two (maybe more?!) options this year I think:

1. Straw rake x 2, roll, spray any emerging weeds, drill with 3m Aitchison Seedmatic (2 directions for better coverage?), roll.

2. Straw rake, shallow cultivate (Simba SL with tines and discs), roll, spray weeds, sow with 6 m Opico grass harrow and air seeder, roll.

Apart from being dust dry now, soil has been in great condition this past year so want to keep it that way, although ley will be in for 2 years doing some repair work.

I realise it's difficult to advise on this without seeing conditions, and we need moisture first, but would be great to hear thoughts on the above, or perhaps whether we should try a combination of both methods as a trial (it isn't in CS scheme until Jan 23, we are getting a headstart to reset rotation).

Thanks in advance
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
First question, are you sure your herbicide used will not affect the emerging seedlings of the herbal ley??

SU herbicides can be resilient, especially in a dry summer...

Straight in with the Aitchison, x2 at an angle... Then pray for rain, albeit the drilling would be best left until after rain! If the drill has a covering chain or harrow, the field will not need rolling.
 

Dog Bowl

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
I have 60ha of GS4 going in this autumn. Some behind winter wheat and some behind wholecropped spring barley.

My plan is to use my 6m Einbock tine harrow, tines set fairly aggressive and go straight into the stubble with that. Could even go half rate and cover the field twice I guess if needs be.

In theory having my own machine means I can pick and chose when to drill it, timing it before some rain hopefully!

All those small seeds are too susceptible to be drilled too deep with much else in my option.
 

SpottedFlycatcher

Member
Mixed Farmer
Send a picture of the stubble , i would be broadcasting the seed if is clean , probably get shot down for saying it but s tine drill is clumsy for those small seeds , best way is an air seeder on a tine Harrow
Thanks, here are some pics from 2 adjacent fields. Not much residue apart from in a few places, some moisture is there but 2-3 inches down. Thanks
 

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SpottedFlycatcher

Member
Mixed Farmer
First question, are you sure your herbicide used will not affect the emerging seedlings of the herbal ley??

SU herbicides can be resilient, especially in a dry summer...

Straight in with the Aitchison, x2 at an angle... Then pray for rain, albeit the drilling would be best left until after rain! If the drill has a covering chain or harrow, the field will not need rolling.
Thanks. Not sure about the herbicide, waiting for agronomist. I had assumed would just be a Glyphosate application if anything had chitted.
 

SpottedFlycatcher

Member
Mixed Farmer
I have 60ha of GS4 going in this autumn. Some behind winter wheat and some behind wholecropped spring barley.

My plan is to use my 6m Einbock tine harrow, tines set fairly aggressive and go straight into the stubble with that. Could even go half rate and cover the field twice I guess if needs be.

In theory having my own machine means I can pick and chose when to drill it, timing it before some rain hopefully!

All those small seeds are too susceptible to be drilled too deep with much else in my option.
OK, thanks. This was my original plan to use our tine harrow as we have had good results with it on power harrowed ground in v dry conditions, but I assumed it would need at least a light cultivation first to improve seed to soil contact. I've had issues with accumulating straw trash in the tines when sowing grass margins, but I guess headlands always likely to be worse. The tine harrow and the drill are ours so we can wait for better conditions, it's more whether we need to do any cultivations or not. Thanks
 
Location
Ceredigion
OK, thanks. This was my original plan to use our tine harrow as we have had good results with it on power harrowed ground in v dry conditions, but I assumed it would need at least a light cultivation first to improve seed to soil contact. I've had issues with accumulating straw trash in the tines when sowing grass margins, but I guess headlands always likely to be worse. The tine harrow and the drill are ours so we can wait for better conditions, it's more whether we need to do any cultivations or not. Thanks
Drills are notorious for going to deep on stubble , I would Tyne Seed it myself or one light pass with the power harrow then roll and seed, if it's trashy I keep the tines up just touching and roll the seed in
 

SpottedFlycatcher

Member
Mixed Farmer
The issue I have experienced in the past has been when the preceding crop has been sprayed with a herbicide that "hangs on in"...
OK thanks, I'd better look into this with the agronomist then. I'd assumed any residual effects would be over by now. Perhaps more likely to be a problem in the fields following wheat? Will check on this, thanks. Haven't had a problem following barley before
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
OK thanks, I'd better look into this with the agronomist then. I'd assumed any residual effects would be over by now. Perhaps more likely to be a problem in the fields following wheat? Will check on this, thanks. Haven't had a problem following barley before
If you used an Autumn herbicide on the Barley you should be OK, but worth a discussion first. Dry summers make the breakdown slow and more problematic.

I first became aware of the issues with SU herbicides 25 years ago, taking out post harvest brassicas! I was reminded again 2 years ago when I was establishing a bumblebird mix after WW, where the Contract lads had gone through in the Spring with something potent!! :(

For my cropping, I moved to some old fashioned chemistry for BLW where a following crop was likely to be affected. In the odd case, I ploughed before stubble turnips or deep disced.
 

tw15

Member
Location
DORSET
Thanks. Not sure about the herbicide, waiting for agronomist. I had assumed would just be a Glyphosate application if anything had chitted.
Be very carefull if barley had a SU on it as been so dry it defo will still be hanging about .I think i would air on the side of caution and give it a a good cultivation and wait for plenty of rain in the forecast then drill . Tempting as it is to just dd or lightly scratch it in if the Su is still active and take out your expensive mix a good cultivation and patience will pay . Downside is you are temporary loosing soil moisture and are bringing weed seeds up .
Here where we have used a su and want to put stubble turnips cover crops or as in this year a herbal ley now in the case of stubble turnips they will get spread on with a slug pelleted on a quad then disced in and rolled . Herbal ley is getting tined then disced then when rain is well and truly on the horizon will get drilled . Really don't want to cock it up for the sake of saving a few quid and not breaking up the su .
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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