The future of arable cropping

Ninjago

Member
Location
south shropshire
This autumn has highlighted a major weakness in the way the majority of arable crops are established in the uk, min-till particularly on heavy soils. The need to create a chit of the major grass weeds by a light cultivation and leaving for 4-6 weeks has left us exposed if the weather changes as it has this autumn. Is it a one off, or is this going to be a regular occurrence of global warming. It's the "leaving for 4-6 weeks" is where the risk is.
But what are the alternatives? Leaving stubble's untouched and direct drill, strip till or ploughing with it's associated erosion problems? Or perhaps a more flexible rotation with more spring cropping?
 

Farma Parma

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Northumberlandia
Hangin on a min Us lads up North this is pretty normal altho just a tadge wetter earlier this backend.
thankfully we dont get a break from the min Harvest starts its pretty much full on & no let up until all winter crops are hopefully in by mid oct or roughly then.
none of these 4-6wk pauses for BG etc etc. (I dont have BG here)
The crack up here is if you dont get it all in by mid Oct just forget about it as the weather will stop you.
9/10 years this is the norm, 2018 was one of them 10year events when you could sow right into Nov no trouble at all.
Yes i have some spring cropping more so cause of HLS otherwise id poss have next too none.
 

teslacoils

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I'd be more inclined to think what happens in the next five years:

Almost certain ban on roundup, kerb, autumn residuals.

12 to 20m mandatory buffer zones by water courses.

Whole farm phosphate limits.

Tighter rules on muck, slurry.

Mandatory undersowing of maize.

Sub optimum nmax.

All this in a context of promoting direct drilling in all situations. Heavy land cropping will turn to spring crops drilled on the green, using liquid N through flat fans as a defoliant. All subsidy will be linked to public goods is freebies for corporations who can twist government arms to compel you to do free work for them.
 

robbie

Member
BASIS
I think flexibility is key, it seems that so many get so blinkered by a single system and spend huge amounts or change there businesses so much for this blinkered system that when we get a year like this one they come unstuck.
Rather than spend huge amounts on a single all singing all dancing drill/cultivator spend less on a range of modest second hand machines and then get out onto the land on foot and weigh up every block of land or field and then decide what will be the best for that field in that rotational position in that given year.

Theres no substitute for feet on the ground and plenty of tools on the box.
 

Farma Parma

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Northumberlandia
I'd be more inclined to think what happens in the next five years:

Almost certain ban on roundup, kerb, autumn residuals.

12 to 20m mandatory buffer zones by water courses.

Whole farm phosphate limits.

Tighter rules on muck, slurry.

Mandatory undersowing of maize.

Sub optimum nmax.

All this in a context of promoting direct drilling in all situations. Heavy land cropping will turn to spring crops drilled on the green, using liquid N through flat fans as a defoliant. All subsidy will be linked to public goods is freebies for corporations who can twist government arms to compel you to do free work for them.

Iam currently involved in a Test Pilot desk based (ELMS) future subs project one of only two i know of being funded by DEFRA
should have some idea in the first quarter of 2020 where it could be heading.
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
This autumn has highlighted a major weakness in the way the majority of arable crops are established in the uk, min-till particularly on heavy soils. The need to create a chit of the major grass weeds by a light cultivation and leaving for 4-6 weeks has left us exposed if the weather changes as it has this autumn. Is it a one off, or is this going to be a regular occurrence of global warming. It's the "leaving for 4-6 weeks" is where the risk is.
But what are the alternatives? Leaving stubble's untouched and direct drill, strip till or ploughing with it's associated erosion problems? Or perhaps a more flexible rotation with more spring cropping?
For those of us without blackgrass issues the delayed drilling this Autumn and subsequent no drilling this Autumn :banghead: was driven by the loss of Deter!
 

Farma Parma

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Northumberlandia
For those of us without blackgrass issues the delayed drilling this Autumn and subsequent no drilling this Autumn :banghead: was driven by the loss of Deter!
Tell me about it
twice thru wheat sown after rape here with pellets & they buggers nearly had the crop thinned out too much.
hardly an issue when seed was dressed with deter as it mostly stopped the grain hollowing didnt it?
All the extra rain wasnt helping my cause neither.
 

Wombat

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East yorks
Tell me about it
twice thru wheat sown after rape here with pellets & they buggers nearly had the crop thinned out too much.
hardly an issue when seed was dressed with deter as it mostly stopped the grain hollowing didnt it?
All the extra rain wasnt helping my cause neither.

Deter had no effect on seed hollowing here, just the same as any other. I think for a lot it was the bydv
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
Tell me about it
twice thru wheat sown after rape here with pellets & they buggers nearly had the crop thinned out too much.
hardly an issue when seed was dressed with deter as it mostly stopped the grain hollowing didnt it?
All the extra rain wasnt helping my cause neither.
More protection against BYVD than slugs! Slug problem is easy to solve, don't have OSR in the rotation...
 

Farma Parma

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Northumberlandia
The no osr reduces slugs but doesn’t get rid of them. They are still munching everything that moves here regardless. I think the best way is to have light soils
I agree Heavy Clay esp when its been Wet the buggers thrive.....
Hardly see many issues on anything other than where previous OSR was tho & i plough all my OSR stubbles 12-14" stalks the lot
 

D14

Member
This autumn has highlighted a major weakness in the way the majority of arable crops are established in the uk, min-till particularly on heavy soils. The need to create a chit of the major grass weeds by a light cultivation and leaving for 4-6 weeks has left us exposed if the weather changes as it has this autumn. Is it a one off, or is this going to be a regular occurrence of global warming. It's the "leaving for 4-6 weeks" is where the risk is.
But what are the alternatives? Leaving stubble's untouched and direct drill, strip till or ploughing with it's associated erosion problems? Or perhaps a more flexible rotation with more spring cropping?

We are 50% spring cropping anyway but that doesn’t help not getting the 50% winter crops in! And I can you sometimes it’s no fun trying to get spring crops going in bone dry soils.
There’s no easy route but what global warming is doing is making people seriously consider if they can be bothered farming at all. Entering stewardship and fallowing the lot is becoming more and more appealing.
 

Ninjago

Member
Location
south shropshire
I agree. A large percentage spring cereal cropping as a business plan here around here would be financial suicide around here as often unprofitable unless we get a perfect spring. With the continual loss of key chemicals, ever rising fixed costs eg machinery and global warming it fees like a slow death of arable farming of a thousand cuts. I don't know what's worse, being an arable farmer or a red meat farmer.
 

4course

Member
Location
north yorks
I think flexibility is key, it seems that so many get so blinkered by a single system and spend huge amounts or change there businesses so much for this blinkered system that when we get a year like this one they come unstuck.
Rather than spend huge amounts on a single all singing all dancing drill/cultivator spend less on a range of modest second hand machines and then get out onto the land on foot and weigh up every block of land or field and then decide what will be the best for that field in that rotational position in that given year.

Theres no substitute for feet on the ground and plenty of tools on the box.
ah, you mean farm your land
 
I think flexibility is key, it seems that ........

Theres no substitute for feet on the ground and plenty of tools on the box.

"Isn't it ironic " sang Alanis, " that Robbie is an expert in Flexibility when he has no need to be".. :)

There is no substitute for Norfolk sand in a sodden autumn is what you and Slim have been demonstrating the last 6 weeks



Drilled this yesterday
30mm overnight
Looks not too bad really.

Would you f**k off, as one of my more colourful irish uncles would say

(Tongue in cheek in case its necessary to clarify...im delighted someone was able to stick to a plan...rather than just getting stuck.)
 
Last edited:

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
Will it without glyphosate ?
The kind of farming I’m talking about will be the only way possible to farm without glyphosate. Mulches, zero disturbance, inter row hoeing etc.
This glyphosate argument about zero till is pushed agenda by machinery and chemical companies who are quickly realising as this style of farming is taking off that that the gravy train is drying up. Farmers who actually take enjoyment and say ‘we will all be back ploughing and cultivating in a few years, no till can’t do it without glyphosate’ are subsidy soft and pampered with their heads in the sand.
 

czechmate

Member
Mixed Farmer
I agree. A large percentage spring cereal cropping as a business plan here around here would be financial suicide around here as often unprofitable unless we get a perfect spring. With the continual loss of key chemicals, ever rising fixed costs eg machinery and global warming it fees like a slow death of arable farming of a thousand cuts. I don't know what's worse, being an arable farmer or a red meat farmer.


At the moment (here we are looking at having glyphosate for 3 more years max) (and we have schools/college canteens going vegan days too) I’m becoming at a loss to see the future :(. As I approach what other lines of work would call “retirement age”, I start to think that our only future is to just make hay (as long as some other suckers are prepared to battle on and buy the stuff). Hay making here at least is ridiculously easy:)
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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