Maize establishment after over winter cover crop

jon the pom

New Member
Location
S Oxon
I'm dabbling in Regen Agric - as it may provide "public goods" for ELMS.
As we no longer drill OSR after Rye silage, our next crop will be maize next spring.
This seemed a good chance to try a "Diverse Cover Crop" so got Cotswold Seeds to supply a mix i/c vetch, forage rape, stubble turnip, fodder radish, sweet & crimson clovers, phacelia, and diamante rye (not cheap!). My contractor scratched it in, & I rolled it, on 3 July.
It's come up quite well & in full flower now - so have put a hive of bees in there.

Under "Regen Agric", the aim is no til ..... so how should we plan to establish our forage maize next spring? Normally we'd spray off the cover crop, disc etc, then drill. "Regen Purists" would probably suggest an undercrop, too.

Advice & comments, please.
 
I'm dabbling in Regen Agric - as it may provide "public goods" for ELMS.
As we no longer drill OSR after Rye silage, our next crop will be maize next spring.
This seemed a good chance to try a "Diverse Cover Crop" so got Cotswold Seeds to supply a mix i/c vetch, forage rape, stubble turnip, fodder radish, sweet & crimson clovers, phacelia, and diamante rye (not cheap!). My contractor scratched it in, & I rolled it, on 3 July.
It's come up quite well & in full flower now - so have put a hive of bees in there.

Under "Regen Agric", the aim is no til ..... so how should we plan to establish our forage maize next spring? Normally we'd spray off the cover crop, disc etc, then drill. "Regen Purists" would probably suggest an undercrop, too.

Advice & comments, please.
Mzuri seems to work with maize. I would spray off the cover crop and possibly run a topper or something over the residue before drilling as maize hates being shaded.
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
We direct drill everything apart from maize, which we strip till. The strip till has, for each row, a winged leg going in about 12", followed by a rotavator with only blades directly behind each leg, followed by the drill. This is in the MGA cover crop trial, where we had some problems with Smart Radish stalks on a couple of plots.
20200425_075217.jpg
 

Mc115reed

Member
I'm dabbling in Regen Agric - as it may provide "public goods" for ELMS.
As we no longer drill OSR after Rye silage, our next crop will be maize next spring.
This seemed a good chance to try a "Diverse Cover Crop" so got Cotswold Seeds to supply a mix i/c vetch, forage rape, stubble turnip, fodder radish, sweet & crimson clovers, phacelia, and diamante rye (not cheap!). My contractor scratched it in, & I rolled it, on 3 July.
It's come up quite well & in full flower now - so have put a hive of bees in there.

Under "Regen Agric", the aim is no til ..... so how should we plan to establish our forage maize next spring? Normally we'd spray off the cover crop, disc etc, then drill. "Regen Purists" would probably suggest an undercrop, too.

Advice & comments, please.

Sheep on it and paddle it in as much as they’ll take then get somebody come in with a vaddy and drill straight in.. maybe a light disc if there’s still some trash on the surface or the ground gets too hard
 
We direct drill everything apart from maize, which we strip till. The strip till has, for each row, a winged leg going in about 12", followed by a rotavator with only blades directly behind each leg, followed by the drill. This is in the MGA cover crop trial, where we had some problems with Smart Radish stalks on a couple of plots.
View attachment 909480
The rotovator is only working the bit behind each leg? That is clever!
 

jon the pom

New Member
Location
S Oxon
We direct drill everything apart from maize, which we strip till. The strip till has, for each row, a winged leg going in about 12", followed by a rotavator with only blades directly behind each leg, followed by the drill. This is in the MGA cover crop trial, where we had some problems with Smart Radish stalks on a couple of plots.
View attachment 909480
Thanks - This clever combination is probably great on deep, stone free top soils, but I'd be wary on our shallow flinty Chilterns soils
 

Mc115reed

Member
Thanks, I think this could work for us.
Vaddy drill will go into most stuff and place the seed accurately ... your timing on the sheep needs too be key... leave them on too long and you’ll get a real hard baked ground you struggle too break up
 

jon the pom

New Member
Location
S Oxon
Mzuri seems to work with maize. I would spray off the cover crop and possibly run a topper or something over the residue before drilling as maize hates being shaded.
It was the maize's lack of competitiveness at the start that worries me about the Regen Agric approach. Perhaps use the sheep first, as suggested elsewhere. IMG_2174 (1).JPG
 

jon the pom

New Member
Location
S Oxon
We have plenty of flint - all our houses are made of it, and fields are still full. There is solid chalk about 18" down over most of the farm.
.... We have red marl clay 10-12" (sorry 250 - 300 mm) down, & quite aggressive flints (the chalk is some 10-20 ft below that)
 

jon the pom

New Member
Location
S Oxon
We direct drill everything apart from maize, which we strip till. The strip till has, for each row, a winged leg going in about 12", followed by a rotavator with only blades directly behind each leg, followed by the drill. This is in the MGA cover crop trial, where we had some problems with Smart Radish stalks on a couple of plots.
View attachment 909480
.... 12" deep is 3" into the red marl, tines, esp on the rotavator, don't last long in the flints, and pneumatic tyres get punctures.... hence we like scratching in with min-til! ... but not for maize in trash?
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
.... 12" deep is 3" into the red marl, tines, esp on the rotavator, don't last long in the flints, and pneumatic tyres get punctures.... hence we like scratching in with min-til! ... but not for maize in trash?
As our soil structure develops with zero till, we plan to reduce tine depth. We did not get enough tilth without the rotavator, but again hope to do away with it as soil improves.
 

Herefordagron

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Hereford
We direct drill everything apart from maize, which we strip till. The strip till has, for each row, a winged leg going in about 12", followed by a rotavator with only blades directly behind each leg, followed by the drill. This is in the MGA cover crop trial, where we had some problems with Smart Radish stalks on a couple of plots.
View attachment 909480
I've been looking for something like this to plant maize! Did you make rotavator yourself?
 

DanM

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
.... 12" deep is 3" into the red marl, tines, esp on the rotavator, don't last long in the flints, and pneumatic tyres get punctures.... hence we like scratching in with min-til! ... but not for maize in trash?
we graze covers similar to yours for a neighbour growing maize on heavy flinty ground. We mob graze them off for 6weeks in jan/feb. They’re then sprayed off. Short disc and drilled with a tempo. Works well. Key is sufficient sheep density to get a good trample effect on the cover.
 

Vitu

Member
Location
Hampshire
.... 12" deep is 3" into the red marl, tines, esp on the rotavator, don't last long in the flints, and pneumatic tyres get punctures.... hence we like scratching in with min-til! ... but not for maize in trash?
I built this to drill maize into cover crop. The flex 10 roller pretty much drops one seed at a time.
Results at harvest compared to the rest of our maize was surprisingly close.
Yield map from forager showed little difference in the field that we split. Half direct half conventional.
 

Attachments

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
I built this to drill maize into cover crop. The flex 10 roller pretty much drops one seed at a time.
Results at harvest compared to the rest of our maize was surprisingly close.
Yield map from forager showed little difference in the field that we split. Half direct half conventional.
Is that a low disturbance subsoiler?
 

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