Sugar beet damage - skylarks?

ewald

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Mid-Lincs
As above really - I have quite a few acres of beet where the cotyledons have disappeared, leaving a tiny plant trying to grow back. It has been suggested that it might be skylark grazing - the areas seem too defined for frost damage, and no evidence of shrivelled leaves.
Has anyone any experience of this, how do I keep them off as the beet (hopefully) regrows?
Redrilling has been suggested, but it is so dry I think this is a non starter
 

robbie

Member
BASIS
Skylarks can do a lot of damage to cotyledon sized beet. I've been told and have read on here by @DrWazzock that they're after the moisture on/in the cotyledon, which makes sense as damage is always worse on a dry time. It had been suggested that putting pans of water down for them can stop or prevent the damage.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Skylarks can do a lot of damage to cotyledon sized beet. I've been told and have read on here by @DrWazzock that they're after the moisture on/in the cotyledon, which makes sense as damage is always worse on a dry time. It had been suggested that putting pans of water down for them can stop or prevent the damage.
We put water trays out for the Skylarks as recommended by our fieldsman. Baking trays filled with water. I didn’t really believe it would do much good but maybe it does. Haven’t really hung around to watch what happens. Certainly lots of skylarks about. My beet is fairly battered, missing cotyledons, but fairly randomly across the field. Some not germinated. Spotted a couple of deer grazing it as well. Not an easy spring for the poor old beet and herbicide timing is nearly impossible, but we keep trying.
 

Flat 10

Member
Location
Fen Edge
I think it will be pigeons or partridges. Suffer badly here every year and most beet survive. They don’t eat the true leaves. Sets them back no doubt and I imagine loses yield as takes them at least a week to make leaf back up. Slightly less damage than usual here as neighbour bless him has some backward osr.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
There are many more game birds about due to Covid curtailing shooting activities during the season. They are real nuisance on slow emerging cereals near the woods. Luckily my beet is further away from them. As dry as it is, there would be little point in redrilling here, though I have a unit of Evalotta left if anybody needs any, free for collection. Can’t use it next year.
 

ewald

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Mid-Lincs
Thanks for the replies- it could well be hares, there are a lot around at the moment. Difficult to know how many skylarks there are - you tend to hear rather than see them
Will just have to wait and hope it grows away - too dry to redrill and no amount of rain in the forecast
 

Flat 10

Member
Location
Fen Edge
Thanks for the replies- it could well be hares, there are a lot around at the moment. Difficult to know how many skylarks there are - you tend to hear rather than see them
Will just have to wait and hope it grows away - too dry to redrill and no amount of rain in the forecast
it will. (y) i still bet its pigeons.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Closer investigation here would suggest it’s a bigger bird than skylark, judging by the footprints. I’d say partridge here. Haven’t seen pigeons on ours. Seed and plant dug right out. Probably thirsty work in the dust and they are glad I put some water out for the skylarks.😆
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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