Stupidly high seedrates

Where does the N come from, Also, will two passes with a 750a (and no other cultivation) oxidise much more organic matter?, doesn't sound as enticing then. If it needs the N/P give it some otherwise your just kicking the no-till organic matter/soil condition sweet spot ball further up the road.

As I said, because the plant stand changes so rapidly from drill overlap to middle of the field in a place that isn't exactly where the liquid fert would have overlapped, I'm not convinced it's so much a localised nutrition problem.

I think the big thing the 2nd pass with the drill does is consolidate the soil in a better way than our set of rolls can.

Have a few areas where I ran the power harrow through afterwards and they look better too, and I'm not sure that's an N mineralisation thing.
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
Have had SOYL on one farm but I'm not super convinced that it was worth the money. As with all of this, if you are Frontier you are going to set the price of the service to take as much of the extra value created as possible. They generate lots of pretty maps, but can I really see in improvement in the various different nutrient levels? I'm not sure.

i moved to @Rhiza-UK or a reason !.................. think it's very good and we are getting good value from it already not juts P,K Ph etc but the N stuff is much better along with the SAR, hyperlocal weather and yield prediction there is not many days Im not using it for something now

having been a early N sensor user then an early adopter of SOYL then doing neither as I had become completely sceptical and disillusioned that payback from them existed

last 12 months is slowly changing my mind though, this stuff is coming of age and the agronomy can finally keep up with the pretty maps and tech for tech sake which really was what PF has been over the 20 yrs
 
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Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
How do they do P, K, Ph etc?

best chat to them really, i'm just a user ! - but that bit is not dissimilar to others really juts zones based on soil brightness, historic boundary and historic yield maps, cranfield survey etc and then ground truth with a soil scientist rather than just Ha grid etc - also more details testing inc C:N Solvita and SOM etc in zones

they don't sell fertiliser so my recs from them are usually product like Kalphos and Fibrophos etc not MOP TSP DAP etc has really help with out FYM and compost targeting as well
 

Rhiza-UK

Member
Location
Wiltshire
How do they do P, K, Ph etc?

Initially the fields are zoned using soil brightness imagery or a soil scientist. Each zone is then sampled every 3 or 4 years and sent to a lab for analysis. You are then able to view the results (for P,K,Mg, pH) in our precision farming platform called the Toolbox (and our new platform - Contour) and then create a variable rate application map using the Toolbox which is linked to the figures found in RB209.
 

britt

Member
BASE UK Member
The team effect is a very interesting comment. I have often wondered if such an effect exists
It's something that Frederic Thomas pointed out (I can't remember what he called it ) he had a picture of where the drill had stopped and put extra seed. Instead of the plants being overcrowded and starved they were bigger and stronger than those around them.
As for headland overlaps, they always look better, but do they end up with lower bushel weight and less grains/ear ?
 
It's something that Frederic Thomas pointed out (I can't remember what he called it ) he had a picture of where the drill had stopped and put extra seed. Instead of the plants being overcrowded and starved they were bigger and stronger than those around them.
As for headland overlaps, they always look better, but do they end up with lower bushel weight and less grains/ear ?

Our headland overlaps look like what some of our neighbours' crops look like over the whole field.
 

Spud

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
YO62
Is there any difference in consolidation? We have some dd spring wheat, moderate establishment. Rollers did one 6m strip before a downpour, by the time it dried germination had occurred, so the rest is unrolled. In the early stages, the line was clear.
 

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Initially the fields are zoned using soil brightness imagery or a soil scientist. Each zone is then sampled every 3 or 4 years and sent to a lab for analysis. You are then able to view the results (for P,K,Mg, pH) in our precision farming platform called the Toolbox (and our new platform - Contour) and then create a variable rate application map using the Toolbox which is linked to the figures found in RB209.

Are you the guy from Solva in Pembs? I keep meaning to get you here as I want to start this.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I have noticed this crowding/bigger plants phenomenon particularly where I have stopped the drill in the ground to check depth and a heap of seed has poured down the tubes. I have often wondered is its something to do with the increased proximity of each others roots building some kind of beneficial effect. It can't be extra cultivation or fertiliser in my case.

However, I am not convinced that this seemingly luxuriant biomass actually turns into a higher yield. Diseases like septoria in wheat seem to prefer overcrowding and here when it gets dry they starve one another to death and the bushel weight is rubbish, so I don't do high seed rates here. 180 kg/ha has delivered a thick enough stand of spring barley for me. Getting all the N in the seedbed before it dries out is important here, as is moisture conservation generally.

Its an interesting observation though, and one that maybe deserves more research or investigation.
 
I have noticed this crowding/bigger plants phenomenon particularly where I have stopped the drill in the ground to check depth and a heap of seed has poured down the tubes. I have often wondered is its something to do with the increased proximity of each others roots building some kind of beneficial effect. It can't be extra cultivation or fertiliser in my case.

However, I am not convinced that this seemingly luxuriant biomass actually turns into a higher yield. Diseases like septoria in wheat seem to prefer overcrowding and here when it gets dry they starve one another to death and the bushel weight is rubbish, so I don't do high seed rates here. 180 kg/ha has delivered a thick enough stand of spring barley for me. Getting all the N in the seedbed before it dries out is important here, as is moisture conservation generally.

Its an interesting observation though, and one that maybe deserves more research or investigation.

I think in cultivated situations where the plants tend to establish, root and build biomass more quickly that very high seed rates are not appropriate. As I have said, our neighbour drilled at 175 kg/ha and their barley is thicker than ours drilled at 270 kg/ha into less friendly seedbeds. I'm really talking about more challenging seeding conditions rather than nice onion beds.
 
Yes I have noticed this Double Drill Triple Establishment effect too as I often double drill the heaviest bits in a field if I have some seed left over. It seems as though the slugs or root rot or whatever it is stops dead at the double drilled bits. Though 'it' will hammer the rest of the field.

It's also the case that the headlands establish better in late drilled cloddy conditions, to the inch of the drilling, however I suspect that zig zag harrows (double pass) have a special quality about them in these conditions.
 
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spring_barley_seed.jpg
So yet again we seem to have some rather mediocre to poor spring crops. Some are reasonable, but some are not. The common problem is that they are just too thin. This keeps happening every year, so every subsequent year I up the rates a bit more. This year drilling at the end of April we went up to 240-270 kg/ha spring barley at 53 TGW. This equates to about 470 seeds / sq m.

Some fields we pulled up with the Claydon and then power harrowed and then drilled with the JD750a (yes, I know, not direct drilling). Others we put the 750a straight into unmoved stubble. The resulting picture is rather confusing with crops now looking better and worse relative to expectations in a number of different fields. Some pulled up fields looking not as good as expected, some looking better. Some no-till fields looking better than expected and some worse.

What is consistent though is that a lot are still far too thin despite the seed rate. My first conclusion was that the soil is just not friable enough / in good enough nick to give the fast growth that is needed. However, when you look at the overlaps, these often have, albeit over a small area of the field, a very respectable crop. Here the crop is nice and thick and looks unimpeded by the soil, and yet a few yards away in the main bit of the field the crop is very thin and looks entirely lacklustre. It can't be the soil conditions change markedly so it must be the effect of the double seed rate and / or action of the drill consolidating the soil over the already drilled seed on the overlaps.
The red top is costs for seed. So there is no difference economically from 175 to 400 seeds/m2!

Thing is, if I could make the rest of the field like the overlaps, I'd have a good crop, but if it takes drilling the field twice at 900 seeds / sq m is easier / cheaper to stick a cultivator through in the autumn?!
I can see, that you need independent trials, if you really believe that double seed rate will yield better just because it looks better!
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
What I do want to do is take soil test from our old meadow fields and then compare with normal fields. Yet again this year they continue to grow so much better crops than elsewhere.

Don’t forget that the higher OM soil will tend to be darker in colour compared to the same soil with a lower OM content ie it will warm quicker in the spring. The better plant growth in that soil may be down to combinations of factors that a soil test wouldn’t show.
 
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I can see, that you need independent trials, if you really believe that double seed rate will yield better just because it looks better!

I know what the standard benchmarks are for number of ears / sq m in wheat and barely. I also know that we regularly do not achieve these figures as an average over a field, and certainly not at the 20cm scale where imperfections in establishment can leave really quite bare areas. Over the last few years, our thickest crops have done the best. That's not to say you can't have a crop too thick though.
 

SimonD

Member
Location
Dorset
IMG_0713.JPG
seed rate is high , difference is the addition of N alongside the seed. It’s the way ahead for me given I’ve grown some crap spring Barley before.
 
It's something that Frederic Thomas pointed out (I can't remember what he called it ) he had a picture of where the drill had stopped and put extra seed. Instead of the plants being overcrowded and starved they were bigger and stronger than those around them.
As for headland overlaps, they always look better, but do they end up with lower bushel weight and less grains/ear ?
Yield is a multiple of number of seeds/square meter times the number of seeds per ear times the thousand grain weight of those seeds.
Two of those are very easy, the number of seeds per ear is the key and when you work that out you get major increases in yield, as in crop competition winning type yields.
 

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