static

franklin

New Member
Went to Dale drills open day up the road and saw great crops for little fuel / time.
Came back and went and burnt hundreds of litres of diesel turning big clay lumps into slightly smaller ones.
Cant last. Got to change.

I farm 1400ac or so of land in Lincolnshire. Most of it is rented / contracted etc, but I am an owner of 50ac and a tenant or about another 200. In the main it is epically strong, with the usual problems of blackgrass but not terrible BG. The lighter bits are near rivers, and the heavier bits dont have great Drainage. Blue clay about 2 inches down. I tend to get high yields, but at great fuel and time costs. I grow winter and spring barley, winter oats, winter and spring wheat, winter and spring beans, spring linseed, winter OSR and also have some permenant pastures. No fixed rotation - I tend to try and get as much gap between crops as possible and often double (or if you count the oats) triple break. Most residues are put back to the soil and I trade grass keep with a stock farmer for the muck from his shed. Very seldom plough, mainly as I am not very good at it.

I have direct drilled spring beans before, and have put the linseed into autumn subsoiled land to good effect.

I am not looking to direct drill everything but would like to work towards having the view to sensibly use it as a tool. The way I am going to try it is a) get Dale drills in to try a bit if they have time and b) put more if not all of my spring crops in using either autumn subsoiling or a cover crop / enhanced volunteers system ie chucking on a few more oats out of the shed. I am already trying to be more sensitive to my soil as regards fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Well static you are in the same place I was last year. Making lumps of soil to break into smaller lumps. I stopped making those lumps after one field, and left the rest, the rain made sure I didn't do Any more and direct drilled it. Certainly no worse for doing it and probably a bit more money in my pocket, just need to see how it yields now, at the moment I am quietly confident of at least my average yield and even hoping for a bit more. Won't be long before I change my drill I doubt.
 
Went to Dale drills open day up the road and saw great crops for little fuel / time.
Came back and went and burnt hundreds of litres of diesel turning big clay lumps into slightly smaller ones.
Cant last. Got to change.

I farm 1400ac or so of land in Lincolnshire. Most of it is rented / contracted etc, but I am an owner of 50ac and a tenant or about another 200. In the main it is epically strong, with the usual problems of blackgrass but not terrible BG. The lighter bits are near rivers, and the heavier bits dont have great Drainage. Blue clay about 2 inches down. I tend to get high yields, but at great fuel and time costs. I grow winter and spring barley, winter oats, winter and spring wheat, winter and spring beans, spring linseed, winter OSR and also have some permenant pastures. No fixed rotation - I tend to try and get as much gap between crops as possible and often double (or if you count the oats) triple break. Most residues are put back to the soil and I trade grass keep with a stock farmer for the muck from his shed. Very seldom plough, mainly as I am not very good at it.

I have direct drilled spring beans before, and have put the linseed into autumn subsoiled land to good effect.

I am not looking to direct drill everything but would like to work towards having the view to sensibly use it as a tool. The way I am going to try it is a) get Dale drills in to try a bit if they have time and b) put more if not all of my spring crops in using either autumn subsoiling or a cover crop / enhanced volunteers system ie chucking on a few more oats out of the shed. I am already trying to be more sensitive to my soil as regards fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
What did you think to that Dale / Simba Freeflow conversion?!
Seems like a good cheap way to look at a direct drilling type system to me.

How do you currently cultivate? Solo isn't it?
 

combineguy

Member
Location
New Zealand
What you need to do is travel first. Only in the uk. But go and see 10 or 15 farmers doing different did things you will learn loads
Why limit to uk. We are all using the same technology world wide. Was at a conference over in Germany last year had people from New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, United States, England. We all learnt things from eachother,
 

franklin

New Member
What did you think to that Dale / Simba Freeflow conversion?!
Seems like a good cheap way to look at a direct drilling type system to me.

How do you currently cultivate? Solo isn't it?
I have a bewildering array of cultivators and kit built up by my family's "buy loads of kit and pay no tax" policy. In the main I surface cultivate then subsoil, then drill. I think at the last count I had six of seven drills, and easily enough kit to trade in for something different. Right now I am trapped in the mindset that, if I dont do everything to the soil and for some reason it doesnt grow, then at least I have done everything to it. You know where I am, so you probably appreciate that the window between mud and concrete is not very large. Like you I am of the school of thought that says "get some bloody air into it", although I think this is really more for winter crops than spring - I appreciate that when there is going to be more evaporation than transpiration in spring, then I can easily make the system work.

I thought the conversion was quite good. Had the plusses over the mounted drill of consistant depth control with two packers; and could easily put the front tynes in elsewhere. But even our 4m freeflows are too heavy to be dragging around in even the damp. Got on well this spring with the vaderstad with the front tynes taken out for the linseed and will do that again next spring. Very impressed how little rubbish has grown in the crop.
 

franklin

New Member
What you need to do is travel first. Only in the uk. But go and see 10 or 15 farmers doing different did things you will learn loads
What I hear a lot is of people saying how heavy their land is, but when I get there it simply isnt. My main problem is that my security as a tenant is very limited - no multiple successions here - and a general reluctance to spend fortunes on long-term solutions. Hence I am concentrating on using it as a tool for my spring crops; trying to be fairly kind to the soils the rest of the time; and then having a small go here and there.

But even going down to the Dale open day is showing that it can be done. But always the knowledge that I have a fairly hefty rent bill to pay, I really need to find some others in a similar boat ie dont have big cash piles / assets to back them whilst they try something out.
 

combineguy

Member
Location
New Zealand
Hi

Interesting thing about direct drilling is that nature does the aeration for you.

Was talking with a few guys a few weeks back that dd grass into paddocks where cattle have been wintered on a brassica crop which was pugged quite bad.

But the grass grew great and the earthworms were busy
 

franklin

New Member
If the weeds and volunteers all seem to grow perfectly well, then it must work. And I am going to have to make it work. And may as well start now while there is some money in the job as very soon we will be back to lean times.
 
I have a bewildering array of cultivators and kit built up by my family's "buy loads of kit and pay no tax" policy. In the main I surface cultivate then subsoil, then drill. I think at the last count I had six of seven drills, and easily enough kit to trade in for something different. Right now I am trapped in the mindset that, if I dont do everything to the soil and for some reason it doesnt grow, then at least I have done everything to it. You know where I am, so you probably appreciate that the window between mud and concrete is not very large. Like you I am of the school of thought that says "get some bloody air into it", although I think this is really more for winter crops than spring - I appreciate that when there is going to be more evaporation than transpiration in spring, then I can easily make the system work.

I thought the conversion was quite good. Had the plusses over the mounted drill of consistant depth control with two packers; and could easily put the front tynes in elsewhere. But even our 4m freeflows are too heavy to be dragging around in even the damp. Got on well this spring with the vaderstad with the front tynes taken out for the linseed and will do that again next spring. Very impressed how little rubbish has grown in the crop.
I'm of a very similar opinion to you - would love to try it / make it work - just something in my head says it won't.

I'm sure you'll know who I mean when I say there are some dd ers no it far away who seem to be struggling. Whether that is the people, or the system is another discussion.
Like you easy I am as big believer that our soils need a 'lift' and air in them. If I owned this place, and had the financial backup ii'd like to try dd'ing but also including the use of a grassland subsoiler. Still lifting, but with minimal surface disturbance.
 

franklin

New Member
I think it will, but clearly there are some situations where first time DD'ers can try it with less "risk". For me this is spring crops in warming soils rather than winter crops into generally poorer draining soils which are going to get a lot of wet on them. The question then is, if you are trying to help your soils fix themselves, how do you establish your winter crops? I think they must go in fairly early.

Last year the local DD crops looked well. This year, not so well. I personally cant afford the not so well happening.
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
I think it will, but clearly there are some situations where first time DD'ers can try it with less "risk". For me this is spring crops in warming soils rather than winter crops into generally poorer draining soils which are going to get a lot of wet on them. The question then is, if you are trying to help your soils fix themselves, how do you establish your winter crops? I think they must go in fairly early.
You do want to drill early, but then I reckon the autumn sown no-till is much easier to get right than the spring, especially on heavier land. You've got the option of trying a bit early, if it doesn't work (it will) you can rip it up and start again...
 

combineguy

Member
Location
New Zealand
Hi

Kinda easier in the autumn as you are drilling into soils which are dry underneath. In the spring you have to wait until it is dry enough underneath.

For us we perfer to drill in the autumn as doing too much spring drilling pushes us ourside our preferred drilling window
 
Location
N Yorks
Static.

I am right there with you, although a year behind maybe. I did take over farm and streamline machinery a few years back though so now have fewer but much tidier and newer machines, with a 2 year old vaddy 4m.

My take on it all is to combine the one pass rape seeding with strip tillage using a Mzuri or similar and also use it on 1st wheat after rape. That's over half of my rotation dealt with using only one tool.

Other parts of the rotation, i.e. 2nd wheats and barley could be drilled with Mzuri when conditions allow and plough or trio type machine followed by combi drill in poorer conditions or after spreading muck/ paddling field, wet year, etc.

The casualty in all this would be my new vaddy drill.

I did buy a disc roller, like a carrier, which will start by striking weeds straight after combine and levelling land out a bit. I wonder whether I should do this whole approach and min till a couple of years more to improve soil a bit and level land before taking the big plunge.

I intend to chop more straw rather than sell and allow neighbouring stock farmer to collect in the pissing rain, causing ruts everywhere. However I say this every year and still give in.

I also wonder whether these strip till drills are just as good as a vaddy when used after ploughing or deeper non inversion tillage.

I view strip tillage as a necessary step on the way to "full" DD. It may even be the destinationo_O

Spring cropping is a virtual NO in this area on heavy cold wet clay
 
Location
N Yorks
A Dale drill looks like 2 steps down the line to me. I think a couple of years of strip till with its front loosening tine would put the land in better condition first, then move on to the likes of Dale.

Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
 

rob1

Member
Location
wiltshire
The most important thing in DD'ing is the will to make it work, accept that mistakes will happen and learn from them. On my third year now and have learnt a lot and much more to learn,but a couple of observations so far, worms love no-till they will get the air into the soil and help the drainage, this year with all the cracks there will be plenty of air in it anyway, the ground travels so much better and enables you to get on earlier with a bit of fert in the spring which dd crops need. Drill in good time in the winter or leave it till spring and then dont drill too early, dont look at crops too much in the winter they wont look as good as ploughed or mintilled crops, but they will rocket in the spring and catch up ( a bit of N in the autumn may help just dont tell anyone;)). Lastly find a hobby for all the time you will have on your hands.
 

RBM

Member
Arable Farmer
The further down the line we get the less depth of soil we need to move becomes increasingly apparent, to the point where I can now really see how disturbing as little as possible at drilling is crucial. High disturbance tine drills in unmoved blackgrass laden fields are not ideal, but think they are king for OSR establishment.
 

Will7

Member
BASE UK Member
Static,

I farm on fairly heavy land near Sleaford, in fact it is where Simba used to test kit when they made the old discs and monos.

You are welcome to come and have a look at my different ideas. I took the plunge from a solo type system and I am slowly making it work, I think!! Bad blackgrass here.
 

franklin

New Member
and monos.
Was monoing some lovely muck in yesterday as it happens.

Yes, would love to pop down as I know there is some tough stuff down there. Although it doesnt look like there will be the chance to do any visiting until after the beet is up etc.

Strangely, I can get my head around DD spring crops even on this clay, whereas I cant see it for the winter crops. Dragged some ground and drilled spring barley into warm, moist soil and it looks great for 2nd year in a row. Whereas for wheat I feel leaving it late for BG to germinate and be sprayed off, which is pretty much vital for me, would be a no-go. Perhaps the problem is wheat? It is never my top performing crop, so perhaps I should drop it?
 

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How to get the most from your Winter Feed Wheat

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GROWTH HABIT

• Quick early development with erect growth habit
• Fast to reach GS30
• Later maturing, allowing more time to build yield SY INSITOR is a taller variety (with no PGR). However, it responds well to PGR applications to reduce height and lodging risk.

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DID YOU KNOW?

SY INSITOR produces large numbers of erect tillers. It has good tiller survival over winter and can carry these through the season to deliver outstanding yields. Its early development and speed to GS30 means nitrogen timing is key to feed the rapid early growth.

DISEASE

• Excellent resistance to major diseases
• Septoria tritici = 6.6
• Yellow rust = 7
• The main disease to watch out for is brown rust. An application of...
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