No-Till Potatoes

We tried this method with organic onions, to control weeds.
Planted the onions as usual, then put straw on top with a teagle straw spreader, it worked well and kept the weeds away much better than repetitively hand weeding and hoeing. The onions grew well and we thought when we topped them it would also remove 60/70% of the straw then we could cope mechanically harvesting the rest. Did it hell, couldn't do anything with it, tge straw had become a mat, they all had to be hand harvested and hand topped, all 40 odd acres!!! Close to 600 ton if I remember correctly
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
Not sure if this'll work but here goes...
 

Attachments

  • 1444780135651.jpg
    1444780135651.jpg
    64.4 KB · Views: 391
  • 1444780306409.jpg
    1444780306409.jpg
    73.8 KB · Views: 359

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
We harvested these the day before I left for USA so not sure about yield or skin quality. Vast majority grew on soil surface under the straw, one or two half-burrowed themselves into the soil and one or two grew in the straw swath.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
It's a fairly sheltered site, but we soaked it after we rolled it out. Saw Jay Fuhrer's potato patch yesterday. He was saying they tried putting net on the straw for a year or two (it is a very windy spot where he is) but he used coarse alfalfa straw this year and it stayed in place ok.
 

York

Member
Location
D-Berlin
Grimme is working on adapting the "air separation" system on potato harvesters which is used in US widely for separation. I reckon that such a thing can be used, besides the normal separation of the potato straw in a NT situation. Swathing done with a "hay rake" or similar.
always, when farmers find the system a answer to their needs they will work on a mechanisation and find a solution. over 90% of the new systems in Ag Industry originated with farmers. JD is one of the companies known for "robbing" idea's of farmers and "reap" the benefit.
York-Th.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
What was the overall slug damage like and the yield?
Our man with the scales has been working tirelessly to bring in the results and the yield on the untreated crop (ie no mycorhizzal inoculant, just FYM and a few squirts of fungicide) looks like being 36t/ha (scaled up from 5 sqm plots) whilst the treated area was 50% higher at 54t/ha. Probably 10% slug or otherwise damaged (included in the weighing). There's still a hell of a lot on the ground if anyone wants some free spuds, pick your own...
 

RushesToo

Member
Location
Fingringhoe
Our man with the scales has been working tirelessly to bring in the results and the yield on the untreated crop (ie no mycorhizzal inoculant, just FYM and a few squirts of fungicide) looks like being 36t/ha (scaled up from 5 sqm plots) whilst the treated area was 50% higher at 54t/ha. Probably 10% slug or otherwise damaged (included in the weighing). There's still a hell of a lot on the ground if anyone wants some free spuds, pick your own...
Well apart from having a sore back and being in jail for enforced child labour that sounds blindingly good.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Our man with the scales has been working tirelessly to bring in the results and the yield on the untreated crop (ie no mycorhizzal inoculant, just FYM and a few squirts of fungicide) looks like being 36t/ha (scaled up from 5 sqm plots) whilst the treated area was 50% higher at 54t/ha. Probably 10% slug or otherwise damaged (included in the weighing). There's still a hell of a lot on the ground if anyone wants some free spuds, pick your own...

I thought you were going to get them made into TFF crisps and send them out to everyone on the forum!
 
Our man with the scales has been working tirelessly to bring in the results and the yield on the untreated crop (ie no mycorhizzal inoculant, just FYM and a few squirts of fungicide) looks like being 36t/ha (scaled up from 5 sqm plots) whilst the treated area was 50% higher at 54t/ha. Probably 10% slug or otherwise damaged (included in the weighing). There's still a hell of a lot on the ground if anyone wants some free spuds, pick your own...

Whats you blueprint for doing this again? I'll give it a go on a small plot next year. Spray off with roundup. Muck. Place seed on top and just roll round bale on top or should I roll it a few times thick?

p.s. That's a income of nearly £2k an acre on spud value. Hope your buying the child labour something nice.
 
Location
Cambridge
Our man with the scales has been working tirelessly to bring in the results and the yield on the untreated crop (ie no mycorhizzal inoculant, just FYM and a few squirts of fungicide) looks like being 36t/ha (scaled up from 5 sqm plots) whilst the treated area was 50% higher at 54t/ha. Probably 10% slug or otherwise damaged (included in the weighing). There's still a hell of a lot on the ground if anyone wants some free spuds, pick your own...
how does that compare to a commercial potato yield? For all I know it could be amazingly good, or diabolically terrible?
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
Whats you blueprint for doing this again? I'll give it a go on a small plot next year. Spray off with roundup. Muck. Place seed on top and just roll round bale on top or should I roll it a few times thick?

p.s. That's a income of nearly £2k an acre on spud value. Hope your buying the child labour something nice.
Yes, that's pretty much it. You want more than one bale rolled out, in terms of thickness of straw, we fluffed it up a bit too (knackering) and doused it with a water bowser to stop it blowing away and get the stuff wet to start growing. Didn't have the balls to miss blight sprays out, should have left a section off really as a trial.
Thin end of the wedge paying children, they'll probably get Simon's crisps...
 

New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

  • 78
  • 0
New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

Written by Defra Press Office

A wide river is in view in a valley in the background, a drystone wall is behind the river, and large, green trees are prominent in the scene.


The Rivers Trust has today launched its State of Our Rivers report aiming to allow the English public understand and explore the health of their rivers on a national and local scale.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow and Environment Agency Director John Leyland attended the launch panel to discuss the ways in which the...
Top