The Elaine Ingham Challenge

Colin

Member
Location
Perthshire
Its bonkers for combinable crops. Unless you have cash to waste. I think a good multispecies cover crop for two months in the primer growing season will do more than buying lots of high margin products.
That's why I pick and choose even on the veg! They pay for trace elements that get left behind to do for a few more years as well.
 

Simon C

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex Coast
Iv'e just been reading through my notes from Thursday. Two things jumped out as being interesting.

Dr Ingham said it was no good going "cold turkey" from what we have always been doing and expect her system to work straight away, you need a transition period. This is the trouble with doing a side by side trial, the Ingham side won't stand a chance of winning.

The other thing she claimed is the she had never seen a relationship between a plant tissue test and a soluble nutrient test from the soil beneath. I think what she was getting at is that there is a complicated biological process for the nutrients to go through to get from the soil to the leaf, which will be dependent on all sorts of things.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Iv'e just been reading through my notes from Thursday. Two things jumped out as being interesting.

Dr Ingham said it was no good going "cold turkey" from what we have always been doing and expect her system to work straight away, you need a transition period. This is the trouble with doing a side by side trial, the Ingham side won't stand a chance of winning.

The other thing she claimed is the she had never seen a relationship between a plant tissue test and a soluble nutrient test from the soil beneath. I think what she was getting at is that there is a complicated biological process for the nutrients to go through to get from the soil to the leaf, which will be dependent on all sorts of things.

re the cold turkey - I thought this during the lecture but when questioned on it the transition seemed to be just a solid compost application follow by monthly tea applications until balance was right - seemed like a rather fast transition to me and sounded a lot like the cold turkey she said should be avoided !
 
Iv'e just been reading through my notes from Thursday. Two things jumped out as being interesting.

Dr Ingham said it was no good going "cold turkey" from what we have always been doing and expect her system to work straight away, you need a transition period. This is the trouble with doing a side by side trial, the Ingham side won't stand a chance of winning.

The other thing she claimed is the she had never seen a relationship between a plant tissue test and a soluble nutrient test from the soil beneath. I think what she was getting at is that there is a complicated biological process for the nutrients to go through to get from the soil to the leaf, which will be dependent on all sorts of things.

I think expecting to understand the relationship between soil tests and tissue tests requires a much better understanding of tissue tests (and probably soil test too). I don't think even NRM, for example, understand how tissue tests change throughout the season and why this is. I don't think their banding of low, sufficient and excessive are anywhere near nuanced enough. They don't really give a good explanation for why the whole plant should be sampled and how that enables the nutrient flows within the plant to be assesses etc.
 

Simon C

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex Coast
re the cold turkey - I thought this during the lecture but when questioned on it the transition seemed to be just a solid compost application follow by monthly tea applications until balance was right - seemed like a rather fast transition to me and sounded a lot like the cold turkey she said should be avoided !

I think she gets more and more exited as the day goes on!!
 

Simon C

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex Coast
I think expecting to understand the relationship between soil tests and tissue tests requires a much better understanding of tissue tests (and probably soil test too). I don't think even NRM, for example, understand how tissue tests change throughout the season and why this is. I don't think their banding of low, sufficient and excessive are anywhere near nuanced enough. They don't really give a good explanation for why the whole plant should be sampled and how that enables the nutrient flows within the plant to be assesses etc.

Only thing I have observed from tissue tests is that they show pretty low for everything when the soil is cold in early March when there is little biological activity, then testing every two weeks things gradually improve until I get to flag leaf when the show high levels all round.

If I was a foliar nutrient salesman, I would be out there in February doing over time collecting samples.
 
Only thing I have observed from tissue tests is that they show pretty low for everything when the soil is cold in early March when there is little biological activity, then testing every two weeks things gradually improve until I get to flag leaf when the show high levels all round.

If I was a foliar nutrient salesman, I would be out there in February doing over time collecting samples.

I just use foliar tests to build a picture for next year.
 

Jim Bullock

Never Forgotten
Honorary Member
Only thing I have observed from tissue tests is that they show pretty low for everything when the soil is cold in early March when there is little biological activity, then testing every two weeks things gradually improve until I get to flag leaf when the show high levels all round.

If I was a foliar nutrient salesman, I would be out there in February doing over time collecting samples.

I have taken a number of soil samples in June/July and October/November and the results suggest that my soils are in much better form than when I did the testing in August/September when nothing was growing... now if I was a soil nutrient salesman I would be very busy just after harvest..
 
Only thing I have observed from tissue tests is that they show pretty low for everything when the soil is cold in early March when there is little biological activity, then testing every two weeks things gradually improve until I get to flag leaf when the show high levels all round.

If I was a foliar nutrient salesman, I would be out there in February doing over time collecting samples.

I haven't seen the exact reverse, but I tend to get the best levels around GS30/31 and then at flag leaf the levels are way down. Maybe because your soils will be more biologically active than mine the biology is providing a lot more once the soils have warmed up and that's why your levels don't drop. Which lab do you use and do you sample the whole plant?

Our agronomist took tissue samples in wheat all the way through the season last year on soils that are similar to ours. I must get around to looking at them because they had a trial area with full foliar nutrition and a control and they said it was very interesting to track how different nutrients went up and down throughout the season.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
The above few post just reinforce how pointless soil and tissue testing is !

Results change more than the wind ! How do you even try to hit such a moving target ?

I guess Dr Ingham would say that's why you need the soil to supply everything though these biological relationships as needs change constantly ?
 
The above few post just reinforce how pointless soul and tissue testing is !

Results change more than the wind ! How do you even try to hit such a moving target ?

I guess Dr Ingham would say that's why you need the soil to supply everything though these biological relationships as needs change constantly ?

Well the same could be said about brewing and applying compost tea and biological innoculants!!
 

Jim Bullock

Never Forgotten
Honorary Member
The above few post just reinforce how pointless soil and tissue testing is !

Results change more than the wind ! How do you even try to hit such a moving target ?

I guess Dr Ingham would say that's why you need the soil to supply everything though these biological relationships as needs change constantly ?
So true... Taking 250-500 grams of soil out of a 10ha field is hardly representative. I would very much like somebody to invent a soil testing device that we could use on farm which would give us instant results, but as I understand it even the soil pH meters are unreliable (or is that a myth put around by the Lime fraternity?)
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
The above few post just reinforce how pointless soil and tissue testing is !

Results change more than the wind ! How do you even try to hit such a moving target ?

I guess Dr Ingham would say that's why you need the soil to supply everything though these biological relationships as needs change constantly ?

Nothing wrong with them as long as you recognise that they are only a snapshot in time and over time will give you a trend. I certainly think OM levels are worth monitoring.
I also think that provided you try to raise OM by whatever means it is fairly easy to quickly spot ( by the no of worm casts ) when nature is taking it's course and it's safe to assume that the soil is starting to work for you ( also confirmed by yield maps ). Don't get me wrong I have no intention of going organic.
30 odd years of making hay on pp has given me a fair idea about what would happen in Dr Ingham's example. It's probably as close as an analogy as we're likely to see. I find that pp that is weened off fert yields drop to about 10-20% of fertilised yield in the first few years. After a few years yields increase to about 60- 70%. If on the rare occasion I fail to make any hay I just leave the crop to rot ( same effect as applying compost ) and the yield will increase a couple of years later by about another 10-20 %. Applying a fungicide will lift yields by up to 20%. If I put fert on, after a long time without it, yields rocket to 200% of a normal fertilised yield but will quickly drop back to a normal yield in a few years time. As I have more grass offered to me than I can cope with, not applying fert and accepting 60-70 % yield is an economic solution for the hay ( it also makes easier ) however, for me, it's not an option on an arable crop especially as your fixed costs are the same whether your wheat yields 2.5t/acre or 4t/acre.
 
The above few post just reinforce how pointless soil and tissue testing is !

Results change more than the wind ! How do you even try to hit such a moving target ?

I guess Dr Ingham would say that's why you need the soil to supply everything though these biological relationships as needs change constantly ?

I'd say they a very broad guide to P, K and pH potential. They still have a place.
 

Claas launches new line of Liner rakes

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Written by Justin Roberts from Agriland

Claas has just unveiled three completely new four-rotor rakes with working widths of 15m, 13.6m and 12.7m. These maximum spans widths can be adjusted by 3.40 to 4.90m depending on the model,

Claas telescopic arm

The new range has been designed to offer low transport heights, improved ground-contour following by the rotors, and ease of handling, according to Claas.

Adjustable working width​


One major development are the new telescopic arms which extend and retract by means of a three-stage patented system.

This comprises a ‘C’ profile and slide rails, enabling rapid...
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