Rotational change forced me to have a 3rd wheat for harvest 21. Yielded same as second wheat. Both strip till drilled into chopped straw. Yield was 10.3t/ha. (first wheats were mainly Firefly so yielded badly, they were conventionally drilled as new drill was late.) The starter to the thread is right in savings of time, labour and fuel. But, you wouldn't want to lose much yield to be losing out with wheat at £240!The worst yield of wheat I've ever had was a 'non inversion' 2nd wheat. A soil borne fusarium disaster of a crop that died 3 weeks early. So again, how does DD cope with 2nd wheat crops?
I ask, because ploughing between cereals allows me to grow 25% of the farm in second wheat (5 year average 3.7t acre), and 25% in 3rd wheat (5ya 3.8t/a). In a year like this, it blows every other GM out of the water, regardless of saving a few quid on establishment.
The report in the OP isn't wrong to my understanding, it shows what we know, that no-till leads to stratification of, amongst many things, organic matter (OM) within the soil. But stratification is not a bad thing, all soils are stratified to some extent and not just in OM. What it doesn't show, and very few if any reports show, is that over a number of years no-till (and genuine mob-grazing if managing grassland) can actually build soil which is where big increases in OM and functionality arise. Mob-grazing grassland does this very quickly, listen to Joel Salatin talk about how much soil he has built over his shallow rock in the US where he couldn't even get a electric fencing stake in the ground, due to there not being enough soil over the rock, when he started out 40 yrs ago.
We can all agree that we can grow a tremendous crop of wheat with relatively low N where we plough out long-term grass, slightly less yield when after a short term ley in an arable rotation for similar N, and we can have a similar effect where we cultivate no-till fields. After 2-3 yrs of cultivation this effect wears off and we need to use more N to get the same yield. Why is this? Is it because we have built 'fertility' through not moving the soil? What is this fertility? It's carbon in simple terms, or OM. Where we routinely move the soil, i.e. long term arable, we need to use a lot more N to get the same yield as we could immediately after long-term grass and low N, indicating to me that we have exhausted the fertility , or carbon, stored in the soil. This is where we have soils which are around 3-4% OM and don't drop any lower.
So can we actually build soil, and OM? I believe so, looking at the soil of very long term no-tillers in the UK there is a visible difference in the colour and quality (aggregation & porosity) whilst also an ability to reduce N whilst not loosing yield indicating we are raising the 'fertility' (carbon) content of the soil. We also see an increase in infiltration rates, some soils can no handle 6 inches of rain per hour without a problem. Any ponding that occurs disappears much faster than before.
Cultivated soil may accept rainfall quickly when its dry but once that cultivated layer wets up it is unable to accept any more rain because the natural connectivity between the subsoil and topsoil is broken. The water cannot percolate into the subsoil as fast as it can into the top cultivated layer and so it ponds or runs-off.
Now all of what I talk about above happens on farms following a Conservation Agriculture approach, part of which is no-till, so my get out caveat is this to all those who wish to disagree. A lot of no-till I see mentioned on-here and other media (social or print) are not following this strategy, as far as I can see, and to my mind the soil 'improvement' only comes when you are following the strategy. Much like baking a cake, if you remove one of the ingredients don't expect your cake to turn out like one of Mary Berry's.
These are my experiences and I am lucky enough to work with people who have been doing it a long time, as well as helping those starting out from the beginning. I would also add that I have yet to find a soil that cannot or will not respond positively anywhere in the country.
My point is that while I don't have a problem with cultivation, why would you bother (unless you grow roots or veg etc) when you can have the upsides of less capital requirement, more time with family, less risk (yes, when done correctly its much less risky, certainly in the last two autumns before this one we had much more wheat in the ground than the average), lower inputs (but these come later).
Yes The writer could take over from Bernard Cribbens on Jackanory. same as a few other posters here.excellent (but long !) post, perfect summary
Just wait til the next edition of DD.Yes The writer could take over from Bernard Cribbens on Jackanory. same as a few other posters here.
Long grass ley with livestock in the rotation is a long time proven practice short and simple answer.
if you cant do that then your soil will deteriorate what ever 'till method' is used.
well i suppose could import organic matter but on the back or diesel fuel and machinery wear and tear or bunging up the roads...
I am just waiting for the ruling that there must be no animal excrement spread on fields that produce human food!Let's face it, everything to do and every management technique used to grow food apart from organic cereal production, with no animal or human muck applied, is killing the planet and making it unfit for humans currently. Farming, apart from hunting/gathering…… sorry no hunting allowed [it's bad and cruel] is apparently 'bad' if not 'evil', so only gathering food should be allowed. I vote to go with the flow and give them precisely what these people want. Immediately after Christmas [I want to enjoy one last Christmas dinner].
If ploughing is as bad as made out and it’s eroding top soil so fast that we only have a few harvests left, why then do they always discover Roman mosaics and enclosures between 40cm and 1metre underground.
Surely after hundreds of years of ploughing (and the fact they were not buried by man in the first place) they would have been discovered before now.
In fact, most are only discovered by satellite photos etc, not by cultivations.
There are 113 species listed as extinct due to human activity.Ozone layer is as healthy as its ever been. Rainforests expand and contract over the centuries but overall global forest cover is now much greater than it has been for at least two centuries. Humans have only ever driven a very few species to extinction, the most notable being the Do-Do bird which was hunted to extinction by humans. So as usual your post is piddle.
Name a few. It is interesting. 113 out of tens of millions over many centuries. How many have been classified as being extinct, whether by alleged human intervention or not, and been rediscovered many decades later? There are probably more extinct species than there are current living ones and you can only find 113 extinct due to humans. I can think of two or three personally and all of them happened at least 50 years ago. But let’s have the list to see how and why etc. I bet most of the 113 were declared extinct two hundred years or more ago.There are 113 species listed as extinct due to human activity.
I can write a list if you like, but you were claiming it was only the Dodo. Well that’s 113 x your original statement.Name a few. It is interesting. 113 out of tens of millions over many centuries. How many have been classified as being extinct, whether by alleged human intervention or not, and been rediscovered many decades later? There are probably more extinct species than there are current living ones and you can only find 113 extinct due to humans. I can think of two or three personally and all of them happened at least 50 years ago. But let’s have the list to see how and why etc.
One that is hopefully extinct in the UK is the warble fly. It’s a great pity that we can’t wipe out the mosquito and the tsetse-fly as well as some other parasites that maim all kinds of animals, many eating their hosts from the inside out.
What I actually said was "Humans have only ever driven a very few species to extinction, the most notable being the Do-Do bird”. Perhaps you need comprehension lessons?I can write a list if you like, but you were claiming it was only the Dodo. Well that’s 113 x your original statement.
I reckon there would have been a few between 500 and 200 years ago but not so many since out of the hundreds that probably go extinct annually for one reason or another. Consider that 99% of all species that have ever existed are extinct according to some [probably dreamt up] estimates. I’m not taking on the guilt for losing a single percentage or even a fraction of a percentage of those.add Auroch too, I believe the last one was killed in Poland about 400 years ago
By the sounds of it you have no intention of excepting the fact that many scientific bodies have documented many species driven to extinction by man,isn’t it about time to step down from you soap box and prove yourself right and not rely on others to keep listing extinct species only to be ignored by yourself. Reminds me of wat dad used to say. There is none so blind as those who don’t want to see.What I actually said was "Humans have only ever driven a very few species to extinction, the most notable being the Do-Do bird”. Perhaps you need comprehension lessons?
Yes, please do write your list as per my specific request.