The Two Simon's Theory

kiwi

Member
Yes I know quite long and maybe you just want to look at the intro, discussion and summary as I did first time. I then read the whole thing the second time as it was most interesting and should I believe be read by all notillage practitioners using glyphosate.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Yes I know quite long and maybe you just want to look at the intro, discussion and summary as I did first time. I then read the whole thing the second time as it was most interesting and should I believe be read by all notillage practitioners using glyphosate.
I’m becoming increasingly keen to stop using glyphosate in notill regardless of it being banned our not

in fact I would like to cut out all herbicide use

I think it maybe possible now
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
By usimg certain cover crops or some other method Clive?
The answer is not simple and its most likely a combination of various methods

I'm going to be really pushing hard and experimenting to work out that combination over the next year or 2
 

kiwi

Member
We have a group of notill and organic farmers challenging each other to push the boundaries of what is possible. Seems to involve companion crops and covercrops. Everyone on a learning curve but very interesting.
 
having just picked up on this thread. if you drill a spring crop (either a cereal or a dicot) into a cereal straw mulch would the acids from the straw have been diluted significantly over winter that the issue goes away, or is it still prevalent.
bear in mind my cultivated cereal stubbles have had 11" of rain in last 2 months.
 

kiwi

Member
Having just read through this whole thread again with the evidence produced by various people and from my own experience here in N.Z. I am coming to the conclusion that if drilling into these high risk situations after covercrops or in wet springs with high straw loadings, that placement of fertiliser is reasonably critical. That evidence was produced here in this thread as well. I think the two Simons theory is very real and thank them for posting it to this forum. I have usually placed fertiliser with my Dale drill and got on very well, except one time after a grass covercrop , where I broadcast the fertiliser and I had an issue with the SB. Roll on this year I don't place fert with the weaving GD and my SB is the worst I have had in a long time , especially after a covercrop and in wet soils. My Autumn crops are fine. Reason I am posting this , is I thought it was a glyphosate issue but I don't believe it is and it has been an expensive lesson which I would hate others to repeat.
I may trial using humates and prilled lime as an experiment otherwise will be drilling with my Dale and fert placement until I hear of a better method of dealing with this issue.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
having just picked up on this thread. if you drill a spring crop (either a cereal or a dicot) into a cereal straw mulch would the acids from the straw have been diluted significantly over winter that the issue goes away, or is it still prevalent.
bear in mind my cultivated cereal stubbles have had 11" of rain in last 2 months.
If you’ve cultivated your cereal stubbles already you aren’t going to have a problem in the spring, hopefully your straw will have decomposed by then. You have to take into account when your graminaceous material comes into contact with the soil, for example you could have used a stripper header at harvest but the remaining straw might still be standing when you came to drill it in the spring. In this scenario the decomposition wouldn’t start until the time you came to drill it and then the results would vary according to whether the spring was then either dry or wet. In some ways I think that because there are so many variables, and most of them occur after drilling, it makes predicting the results difficult. For me, if in any doubt, I’d apply the prilled lime as an insurance, at £20/acre I know that if it isn’t required then at least it’s still available as a plant nutrient.
 

fenrat

Member
After a few discussions with Simon over the winter the more I think about this the more I think they are spot on with this theory, it fits and explains so many situations and problems that I think the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming

Not just relevant to zero-til either, all arable systems would benifit from respect to this theory it explains why tines on strip till drills or sub cast osr seems to work well, why lime seems to be best used after a cereal and ahead of osr, why since zero-til i have found wheat after oats the biggest challenge etc

in countries without a martine climate this would be much less of an issue as its often much dryer after drilling
Clive, you remember Bokashi? Spoken about at one of the talks at Groundswell and demoed. This was anaerobic fermenting of compost. A pH neutraliser was required to stop the compost becoming over acidic and later dying because of it thus stopping the breakdown.

I'm 100% on board with this theory and will be acting on it accordingly......
 

kiwi

Member
The theory has three parts to it
1- Identified the problem, which most of us all agree
2- Identify the cause
3- Identify the solution, which seems to be gaining a consensus ie apply lime to increase local ph (although this may increase potential take-all) , sow earlier in drier conditions, place fert close to seed if possible, use crop rotation

My questions is has the theory identified the correct cause? To quote from the previous papers I posted "Two studies conducted in two different fields separated by about 70 miles in eastern Washington, both direct-seeded (no-till), confirmed that wheat yields can be depressed significantly by straw on the soil surface, but showed further that the organism(s) responsible for the yield-depressing effect of straw are in the soil and not in the straw" and "Pythium species are most active as seedling and root pathogens in soils with moisture contents at field capacity or above, and in soils high in clay content and low in soil pH" and "Cold wet trashy seedbeds typical of direct-seed systems will tend to favor greater damage caused by Pythium. This is because of the favorable effects of low temperature and high soil moisture on Pythium and possibly also the stimulatory effects of fresh wheat straw on Pythium as a saprophyte in soil"

I am not saying Pythium this is the cause, but did the two Simons consider this as a possible contributory factor?
I would like to renew this thread based on the research given here as after the wet early spring we had and planting a few different crops after cover crops, grazed high loaded straw crops this makes a lot of sense. I have mainly sowed using a seed hawk tyned Dale drill placing fertiliser in the spring and so haven’t seen the effect spoken about. Except once when not placing fertiliser with the dale in the spring and now that we are using low disturbance weaving gd. The Pythium root disease feeds off carbon sources of straw etc.as per this research. I personally think this is what the two Simons theory may not be taking into account but would like to know if any of you could vouch for the pythium argument?
 
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PMD

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lincolnshire
I think it might be the acidic conditions that are favouring the blackgrass, at the same time as your crop , it's competition, is being weakened.
Initially I thought you might be right about the more rapid breakdown occurring in more biologically active soils but for my part the biggest problems I've encountered have been after long term grass which sadly knocks that theory.
In wet seasons where I've established into chopped straw on sandy clay loams I've lost crop, which hasn't been necessarily been the case on my chalky wolds
 
So..... It has been 5-6 years now since the Two Simon's theory was first mooted. There seems to be a very strong level of support for putting some lime prilss in the seed mix to do next to the emeging seedlings, even where the ph of teh soils is OK, ie 6.5+

What rates have the collective been using and found successful, especially drilling into grass leys that have been burn off, and also trashy and thick cover crops? I am particularly interested to hear about the grass after grass and brassicas after grass.
 

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New ELM scheme must be flexible and have farming at its heart, says NFU

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Written by John Swire

The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) must be flexible and have farming at its heart, the NFU said today, as the government consultation draws to a close.

The scheme is due to be rolled out in 2024, replacing the existing environmental schemes currently available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Tom Bradshaw
Tom Bradshaw

NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said: “The consultation on the new ELMS has given us a great opportunity to get a range of views from our...
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