Map for Direct Drilling

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
Is there a map for where people do more direct drilling over ploughing?
Moving on from the ploughing is bad thread, where is the cross over point. Is it only for the big south of England farms? Where is is dry and sunny and warm?
I’m in Northern Ireland, it’s damp and mild all year around. I plough because it’s what I “think” I have to do. My farm is probably smaller than what some people call (an awkward corner so we’ll plant in trees so we don’t have to bother with it)
It’s bloody steep (I’ve been beaten with a 4 furrow on a t6080 NH) and also a 800l sprayer on my lightest tractor on in a poor year.

I do it for the love and will probably not change my system as it’s set up for the worst years and can only justify one seed drill which has to be suitable for the worst years.
How does direct drilling work on the steep ground on a wet year?
No one in my area does it including the farmers weekly farmer of the year (min till is starting to get a bit more popular) but 99% is all ploughed here.
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
no map i know of

i’m midland’s but i know plenty successful no till farmers much further North and in Scotland

i spend a fair bit of time in Denmark where no-till is not at all unusual
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
The thing you have to remember is that the best we can do is to copy mother nature and the old dear manages to grow plants nearly everywhere. If she can do it, then you can. Nature doesn't plough, she keeps the ground covered with growing plants all year, she has a variety of species and as often as not, there will be grazing animals. So there are farmers in the N of Scotland direct drilling and all over GB; Ireland too, the most successful will be following nature's lead. You should be perfect in mild damp N Ireland, undisturbed soil is much easier to travel on, as long as you don't compact it by being silly. The steep hills are much easier to farm no-till.

There is nowhere in the UK that farmers do more direct drilling than cultivating at the moment, but that will soon change. It's well worth finding someone close by who does it and go have a chat and look at their crops. It's not frightening, more like liberating. It's important that you get on well with your family as you'll have a lot more spare time on your hands.
 

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
The thing you have to remember is that the best we can do is to copy mother nature and the old dear manages to grow plants nearly everywhere. If she can do it, then you can. Nature doesn't plough, she keeps the ground covered with growing plants all year, she has a variety of species and as often as not, there will be grazing animals. So there are farmers in the N of Scotland direct drilling and all over GB; Ireland too, the most successful will be following nature's lead. You should be perfect in mild damp N Ireland, undisturbed soil is much easier to travel on, as long as you don't compact it by being silly. The steep hills are much easier to farm no-till.

There is nowhere in the UK that farmers do more direct drilling than cultivating at the moment, but that will soon change. It's well worth finding someone close by who does it and go have a chat and look at their crops. It's not frightening, more like liberating. It's important that you get on well with your family as you'll have a lot more spare time on your hands.
Thanks. I look after my two wee boys so free time is important for that.
I like the idea of picking a good day and getting to it. This year I’ve ploughed in aug rolled. Then combi and roll again in October. It’s first I haven’t put tracks in pre emming.
We are predominantly grass area here, with few doing arable as their main work, most do spring barley for the straw for bedding. But what I mean is the grass ground you could travel on nearly all year around, which I like and would hope direct drilling is similar.
i feel min till as a half way house and no benefit to me.
Do any of you dd’ers keep the combi? As a back up or jump straight in?
 

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
I’ve done a little more research and have a few more questions.

what sort of drill would be best suitable. 6140r and hilly land.
3m probably best. But choices seem to be erth, Moore, weaving and claydon(strip till).

Do you usually need to roll before/after?

Are you better to go min till first and the dd or is jumping straight in ok for the land?
 
I’ve done a little more research and have a few more questions.

what sort of drill would be best suitable. 6140r and hilly land.
3m probably best. But choices seem to be erth, Moore, weaving and claydon(strip till).

Do you usually need to roll before/after?

Are you better to go min till first and the dd or is jumping straight in ok for the land?

You can experiment and try a variety of methods.

You will probably want to roll after a claydon but this will depend on your weather, soil type and the general health of your soil as it stands. some drills close up the slot or cover the seed and consolidate better than others. You will need top suck it and see. Use a contractor or neighbour with a drill for one field first rather than splashing out on a drill.

You need to be more mindful of the conditions with no-till. When your heart says it is too wet. Keep off it.
 

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
We are pretty damp here all year around.
Soils haven’t been looked after, years of sheep and no inputs. Soil has some worms and that’s about it. No fym and only started chopping straw this year, previously just left the stubbles high.
Have been told there is someone close with a claydon and it should suit my system, so next step is to find him and ask nicely for a few pointers
 
We are pretty damp here all year around.
Soils haven’t been looked after, years of sheep and no inputs. Soil has some worms and that’s about it. No fym and only started chopping straw this year, previously just left the stubbles high.
Have been told there is someone close with a claydon and it should suit my system, so next step is to find him and ask nicely for a few pointers

You may be surprised that the soil has more structure to it than say, if it had been farmed intensively with cereals and roots for decades and lost it's backbone. Sheep must be eating something and they will have been feeding the soil gently. Take some broad spectrum soil tests and see.

Maybe start by putting on a modest dose of manure and direct drill into that. May need a go with something first (in dry conditions) if there is a pan or serious compaction issues.
 

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
I’ve worked the compaction out.
Up to 2 on p and k now
Tops hills they’res little soil, first year they were like sour grey gloup but not bad now.
Trying to get compost or green waste that won’t take all winter drawing in at moment but trouble enough.
My neighbour has about 20 cattle running over 90 acres told me it’s bad land, I told him there’s no such thing as bad land just bad farmers. it’s been a very enjoyable challenge getting it into ok shape, just want to take it the next step now.
 

AT Aloss

Member
BASE UK Member
Is there a map for where people do more direct drilling over ploughing?
Moving on from the ploughing is bad thread, where is the cross over point. Is it only for the big south of England farms? Where is is dry and sunny and warm?
I’m in Northern Ireland, it’s damp and mild all year around. I plough because it’s what I “think” I have to do. My farm is probably smaller than what some people call (an awkward corner so we’ll plant in trees so we don’t have to bother with it)
It’s bloody steep (I’ve been beaten with a 4 furrow on a t6080 NH) and also a 800l sprayer on my lightest tractor on in a poor year.

I do it for the love and will probably not change my system as it’s set up for the worst years and can only justify one seed drill which has to be suitable for the worst years.
How does direct drilling work on the steep ground on a wet year?
No one in my area does it including the farmers weekly farmer of the year (min till is starting to get a bit more popular) but 99% is all ploughed here.
Key to soil Associations; note the capability for regular direct drilling is classified by “DD class”. This rates the capability according to 3 classes:
•Class 1 – capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn and spring sown cereals with minimal yield loss compared to conventionally cultivated;
•Class 2 - capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn sown cereals with minimal loss of yield, expected spring sown yield losses;
•Class 3 - incapable of sequential direct drilling of autumn or spring sown cereals without yield loss. Note yield loss may not be a margin loss overall due to the cost reductions.

For me it's the following soil types:
•572o: Burlingham 2 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. Compaction is especially restrictive to direct drilling. DD class 2;
•572s: Bishampton 1 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. DD class 2;
•511e: Swaffham Prior – Well drained calcareous coarse & fine loamy soils over chalk rubble. Deep non-calcareous loamy soils in places. DD class 1;
•571r: Hunstanton - Deep well drained often reddish fine and coarse loamy soils. Some similar calcareous soils over chalk. DD class 1;
•541r: Wick 1 – Deep well drained coarse loamy & sandy soils locally over gravel. DD class 1/2.
•711u: Holderness - Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged fine loamy soils and similar soils with only slight waterlogging. Narrow strips of clayey alluvial soils. General DD class 2.
•512b: Landbeach – Permeable calcareous coarse loamy soils affected by groundwater over chalky ground. DD class 2.
•813f: Wallasea 1 - Calcareous and non- calcareous alluvial deep clay soils. Calcareous soils of this association can be direct drilled, provided occasionally subsoiled, general DD class 3.

Note that experience suggests that soils in DD classes 1 and 2 can be successfully direct drilled in both spring and autumn. Occasional corrective treatment may be needed depending on the capability of the soil to self-structure, and the effects of seasonal factors such as weather and any associated soil structure damage incurred. Soils in class 3 may require loosening on a more regular basis to optimise the results from direct drilling.

Reference: The suitability of soils for sequential direct drilling of combine-harvested crops in Britain: a provisional classification [cereals] [1979] Cannell R.Q. Davies D.B. Pidgeon J.D. Agricultural Research Council
 

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
Key to soil Associations; note the capability for regular direct drilling is classified by “DD class”. This rates the capability according to 3 classes:
•Class 1 – capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn and spring sown cereals with minimal yield loss compared to conventionally cultivated;
•Class 2 - capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn sown cereals with minimal loss of yield, expected spring sown yield losses;
•Class 3 - incapable of sequential direct drilling of autumn or spring sown cereals without yield loss. Note yield loss may not be a margin loss overall due to the cost reductions.

For me it's the following soil types:
•572o: Burlingham 2 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. Compaction is especially restrictive to direct drilling. DD class 2;
•572s: Bishampton 1 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. DD class 2;
•511e: Swaffham Prior – Well drained calcareous coarse & fine loamy soils over chalk rubble. Deep non-calcareous loamy soils in places. DD class 1;
•571r: Hunstanton - Deep well drained often reddish fine and coarse loamy soils. Some similar calcareous soils over chalk. DD class 1;
•541r: Wick 1 – Deep well drained coarse loamy & sandy soils locally over gravel. DD class 1/2.
•711u: Holderness - Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged fine loamy soils and similar soils with only slight waterlogging. Narrow strips of clayey alluvial soils. General DD class 2.
•512b: Landbeach – Permeable calcareous coarse loamy soils affected by groundwater over chalky ground. DD class 2.
•813f: Wallasea 1 - Calcareous and non- calcareous alluvial deep clay soils. Calcareous soils of this association can be direct drilled, provided occasionally subsoiled, general DD class 3.

Note that experience suggests that soils in DD classes 1 and 2 can be successfully direct drilled in both spring and autumn. Occasional corrective treatment may be needed depending on the capability of the soil to self-structure, and the effects of seasonal factors such as weather and any associated soil structure damage incurred. Soils in class 3 may require loosening on a more regular basis to optimise the results from direct drilling.

Reference: The suitability of soils for sequential direct drilling of combine-harvested crops in Britain: a provisional classification [cereals] [1979] Cannell R.Q. Davies D.B. Pidgeon J.D. Agricultural Research Council
Thanks this is a very useful article. My land would fall in class 3. Looking like the claydon will suit the ground here the best
 

alomy75

Member
Key to soil Associations; note the capability for regular direct drilling is classified by “DD class”. This rates the capability according to 3 classes:
•Class 1 – capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn and spring sown cereals with minimal yield loss compared to conventionally cultivated;
•Class 2 - capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn sown cereals with minimal loss of yield, expected spring sown yield losses;
•Class 3 - incapable of sequential direct drilling of autumn or spring sown cereals without yield loss. Note yield loss may not be a margin loss overall due to the cost reductions.

For me it's the following soil types:
•572o: Burlingham 2 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. Compaction is especially restrictive to direct drilling. DD class 2;
•572s: Bishampton 1 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. DD class 2;
•511e: Swaffham Prior – Well drained calcareous coarse & fine loamy soils over chalk rubble. Deep non-calcareous loamy soils in places. DD class 1;
•571r: Hunstanton - Deep well drained often reddish fine and coarse loamy soils. Some similar calcareous soils over chalk. DD class 1;
•541r: Wick 1 – Deep well drained coarse loamy & sandy soils locally over gravel. DD class 1/2.
•711u: Holderness - Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged fine loamy soils and similar soils with only slight waterlogging. Narrow strips of clayey alluvial soils. General DD class 2.
•512b: Landbeach – Permeable calcareous coarse loamy soils affected by groundwater over chalky ground. DD class 2.
•813f: Wallasea 1 - Calcareous and non- calcareous alluvial deep clay soils. Calcareous soils of this association can be direct drilled, provided occasionally subsoiled, general DD class 3.

Note that experience suggests that soils in DD classes 1 and 2 can be successfully direct drilled in both spring and autumn. Occasional corrective treatment may be needed depending on the capability of the soil to self-structure, and the effects of seasonal factors such as weather and any associated soil structure damage incurred. Soils in class 3 may require loosening on a more regular basis to optimise the results from direct drilling.

Reference: The suitability of soils for sequential direct drilling of combine-harvested crops in Britain: a provisional classification [cereals] [1979] Cannell R.Q. Davies D.B. Pidgeon J.D. Agricultural Research Council
I think I’m Wallasea in south lincs but have some variation; what’s the easiest way to find out what we have (accurately to parcel level)
 

alomy75

Member
Thanks this is a very useful article. My land would fall in class 3. Looking like the claydon will suit the ground here the best
I think you’re right steering clear of a disc drill if it’s always damp but watch the slugs with the Claydon; you really need to consolidate after…somehow! There was a 3m sprinter on here ages ago right money; that would be my choice; with some narrow coulters on
 

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
I think you’re right steering clear of a disc drill if it’s always damp but watch the slugs with the Claydon; you really need to consolidate after…somehow! There was a 3m sprinter on here ages ago right money; that would be my choice; with some narrow coulters on

Lad I was speaking to said go in very early with claydon then the rolls straight after.
circa £40k is a lot on my small acerage, so would ideally like something cheap to start with for first few years so I can afford to keep plough and combi.
we’ve no shortage of slugs at present, so need to be very mindful of this.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
I think I’m Wallasea in south lincs but have some variation; what’s the easiest way to find out what we have (accurately to parcel level)
you will be Wallasea. In association with Downholland if you are near any Skirt Fen land and possibly Wisbech if any silt hills. From your various posts assume your are out on the heavy near Sutton St James way or a bit beyond.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Key to soil Associations; note the capability for regular direct drilling is classified by “DD class”. This rates the capability according to 3 classes:
•Class 1 – capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn and spring sown cereals with minimal yield loss compared to conventionally cultivated;
•Class 2 - capable of sequential direct drilling of autumn sown cereals with minimal loss of yield, expected spring sown yield losses;
•Class 3 - incapable of sequential direct drilling of autumn or spring sown cereals without yield loss. Note yield loss may not be a margin loss overall due to the cost reductions.

For me it's the following soil types:
•572o: Burlingham 2 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. Compaction is especially restrictive to direct drilling. DD class 2;
•572s: Bishampton 1 - Deep fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils & slight seasonal waterlogging. DD class 2;
•511e: Swaffham Prior – Well drained calcareous coarse & fine loamy soils over chalk rubble. Deep non-calcareous loamy soils in places. DD class 1;
•571r: Hunstanton - Deep well drained often reddish fine and coarse loamy soils. Some similar calcareous soils over chalk. DD class 1;
•541r: Wick 1 – Deep well drained coarse loamy & sandy soils locally over gravel. DD class 1/2.
•711u: Holderness - Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged fine loamy soils and similar soils with only slight waterlogging. Narrow strips of clayey alluvial soils. General DD class 2.
•512b: Landbeach – Permeable calcareous coarse loamy soils affected by groundwater over chalky ground. DD class 2.
•813f: Wallasea 1 - Calcareous and non- calcareous alluvial deep clay soils. Calcareous soils of this association can be direct drilled, provided occasionally subsoiled, general DD class 3.

Note that experience suggests that soils in DD classes 1 and 2 can be successfully direct drilled in both spring and autumn. Occasional corrective treatment may be needed depending on the capability of the soil to self-structure, and the effects of seasonal factors such as weather and any associated soil structure damage incurred. Soils in class 3 may require loosening on a more regular basis to optimise the results from direct drilling.

Reference: The suitability of soils for sequential direct drilling of combine-harvested crops in Britain: a provisional classification [cereals] [1979] Cannell R.Q. Davies D.B. Pidgeon J.D. Agricultural Research Council
The Bible :)
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Lad I was speaking to said go in very early with claydon then the rolls straight after.
circa £40k is a lot on my small acerage, so would ideally like something cheap to start with for first few years so I can afford to keep plough and combi.
we’ve no shortage of slugs at present, so need to be very mindful of this.
I'm really fortunate in that I can hire my neighbour's drill, which is similar to the Moore unidrill but made here in NZ by Aitchison

it's a 22 run single disc with closure provided by quite a heavy cast ring, really works well on a livestock farm that's quite humpy, follows the ground well and excellent slot closure

it is heavy at 2500kg empty

it would maybe shove you around, I only put a 90hp Same on it which is quite a light tractor

I could also have the use of about 10 different tine drills but the beauty of the disc is that you have much lower disturbance and much better tilth as it isn't relying on a vibrating baker-boot point to create it
 
The claydon will want rolling afterwards I would put money on it. It doesn't cover up what it has done very well at all, and truth be told the die hards would not accept it as direct drilling. It does work well though. I've even had wheat put in after maize in good autumns. Worked a treat.

You may need the odd preparatory pass with something some odd years, particularly if you want to create a stale seedbed. It's no big issue.
 

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