I have no idea what I'm doing

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
This is a genuine non knocking question from a non direct drilling person. But why do you say that cover must be wicking water out a treat. Not knocking you personally, I hear it on here all the time about these cover crops wicking water and drying soils in the October to March period. But evapotranspiration in late October and the coming months would be minimal. Finally plucked up courage to ask.
Doubt it’s taking much water out now however the soil will be in better condition to get water through it
 
with neighbours
better them talking about you than ignoring you

if you have a descent notill drill spray off 6 weeks before the soil will be fit to drill
drilling later in the spring is no bad thing with notill less weeds more drought resistant
i found this spring the more cover /chopped straw the better the establisment as the top 2 inches had not dried out too much
you do have to be patient if it is not dry enough

if the field has been notill for a few years it is easier

niab has a very interesting trial result from this year regarding drilling timeing black grass and yield
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
North Yorkshire
Have an idea buckwheat is not suitable for grazing sheep on , might be wrong though

Buckwheat dies with the first ground frost. Some graziers don't like phacelia - mine didn't & wasn't interested in my cover crops. Said the sheep will eat it but not put any weight on. Others are happy to graze phacelia as part of a mix.
 

TWF

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Peterborough
I remember that view;). Just look at my avatar re drilling through tall mustard. In the Autumn we spray off post drilling with the preM . Spring drilling, it needs spraying off now and then another dose around drilling time. In the autumn you will find that sticky brash won't be so " loving" to stick to everything by drilling on the green. I found the more I built that OM the better those fields used to hold onto the moisture during those long spring droughts. That land is a lot better DD. :)
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Spun some mustard, buckwheat and phacelia on after wheat in mid Aug, now have 6' high flowering cover crop. Neighbours and non-farmers are ringing me asking what in earth I'm doing.
My employee is desperate to plough the land ahead of peas. I was, but with a new 750a on its way, wondering if it would DD.
Guess, It comes down to confidence and "backing yourself".
When would you spray off, would you top? Will I be the laughing stock of the county?View attachment 917108

looks great, roll on a frost if it threatens to go to seed before pea drilling time
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Do you think crops like mustard that flower at this time of year in the damp and wet go on to make viable seed that would germinate ?

l‘ve had plenty of mustard flower here over the years and it’s never become a volunteer problem yet

it goes woody if left to mature so breaks down slower, this is not always a bad thing re C:N ratios, wildlife / beneficial habitat and “soil armour” maintenance but might raise a neighbour eyebrow when they see it in the cash crop !
 

TWF

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Peterborough
l‘ve had plenty of mustard flower here over the years and it’s never become a volunteer problem yet

it goes woody if left to mature so breaks down slower, this is not always a bad thing re C:N ratios, wildlife / beneficial habitat and “soil armour” maintenance but might raise a neighbour eyebrow when they see it in the cash crop !
His neighbours will be fine. There are a few of them trying to get into DD now.
 

Andrew K

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex
Doubt it’s taking much water out now however the soil will be in better condition to get water through it
Our covers are mainly self sown Borage which was growing massively in October. My view is similar to ajd in that it also benefits drainage as this land walks better despite the canopy and at that time was using some moisture to do so, albeit in smaller amounts than it would in the spring. I am sure the type of cover is also pretty important.
 
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a descent cover in September /October increase the soil moisture deficit allowing the soil to take more rain before it is at field capacity and helping drainage
this is also the case for later harvested crops that are transpiring in august
I find beans and spring linseed leave the soil dryer in September which has to be managed properly for autumn crops
notill when it is dry saves moisture on heavy land
in a wet time the top retains it’s structure
early drilling is essential either way on land where one wet weekend makes all cultivation systems and notill difficult
 

Speculative coverage on the gene editing consultation response

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Speculative coverage on the gene editing consultation response

Written by Defra Press Office

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There has been coverage today in the I and the Guardian, reporting on speculation around the upcoming government response to the recent Gene Editing consultation, which closed on 17th March.

A full government response, which will include a thorough analysis and summary of the responses to the consultation and which will set out our next steps, will be published in due course.

Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that mother nature has provided, such as breeding...
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