To tough to Mole 5 yr dd field

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
This field is quite light but had areas that lay wet all winter due to the surface running together. I thought Mole draining would help the problem but cannot pull my mole in this field.

Fields that were direct drilled this Autumn but were subsoiled for rape in Aug 14 are wetter inside at depth than the 5 year dd field and mole in those fields pulling nicely with minimal wheel slip.

Not sure if this level of soil density is what long term dd is suppose to achieve or if the dd is not working in hear.

There are less worm holes than fields that have not been dd for as long.

Yield was 1 t/ph down on fields that were cultivated in 2014. It's never been the best field though.

When I lift the mole out it breaks out a huge pice of soil. Right down to the mole depth.

What's interesting is how much dryer at depth this field is compared to fields that were cultivated in 14. I think this must be due to better capillary action due to the increased density of the soil? Peas are the next crop in here, I think I'm just going to leave the field alone and dd the peas in. Hopefully without the effect of drilling with tine drill this Autumn the soil surface won't run together and it will dry out enough in the spring to drill. Unless anyone has some better advice.

I am hiring a grassland subsoiler this summer to try a couple of half field trials to compare with dd, but I don't think I would pull that in here either!

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Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
No never cover crops. I can't seem to make them work, always gives me a poor following crop. So for now I just trial a few little areas and see how others are getting on.

My agronomist came over today. His suggestion was to plough it then subsoil 10" deep. I said that will travel well in April when I'm drilling with a 9 tonne tractor!!!
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
Yep would be nice to have a small tractor but I don't have the acres to warrant two. I've got good tires and it travels well if I'm patient and wait for good conditions.

I could try adding more weight to my tractor and perceiver with the moiling but no point doing it if im getting over 10% wheel slip as it will ruin the surface of the field.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
As it's a traction issue, have you set your tyre pressures to match the manufacturers weight / pressure chart?

Needs a weigh bridge to check the axle weights, but well worth doing. IMHO, guesses aren't good enough.
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
have you returned residues the last few years?

what is the typical herbicide use on these fields?

Long list of chemicals, which ones do you think are bad?

I baled the wheat straw in 13 ahead of rape, which was chopped, some of it still around. Just chopped this years straw.

I think reason I can't pull the mole is more to do with the dry than to tight. It's definitely dryer deeper than soils more recently cultivated.

I've see this in the spring before were stubbles take for ever to start drying, but there comes a point, usually in May when the stubbles suddenly dry out quite quickly to depth, and whilst the surface drys quickly on cultivated ground, it can hold water for longer a few inches below the surface.

One thing I may have over looked is that this is a wheat stubble and I have been doing barley stubbles so far this year, so maybe the wheat removed more of the June rains as it was still growing?
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
As it's a traction issue, have you set your tyre pressures to match the manufacturers weight / pressure chart?

Needs a weigh bridge to check the axle weights, but well worth doing. IMHO, guesses aren't good enough.

I could drop the tire pressures more. Maybe fill the fronts up with water might help as well. The front is defiantly quite light. I have 1.5 t on the back and 1t on the front.

I should work out the correct tire pressures as you say, it's just annoying as it was gone well before.
 
Long list of chemicals, which ones do you think are bad?

I baled the wheat straw in 13 ahead of rape, which was chopped, some of it still around. Just chopped this years straw.

I think reason I can't pull the mole is more to do with the dry than to tight. It's definitely dryer deeper than soils more recently cultivated.

I've see this in the spring before were stubbles take for ever to start drying, but there comes a point, usually in May when the stubbles suddenly dry out quite quickly to depth, and whilst the surface drys quickly on cultivated ground, it can hold water for longer a few inches below the surface.

One thing I may have over looked is that this is a wheat stubble and I have been doing barley stubbles so far this year, so maybe the wheat removed more of the June rains as it was still growing?

This is mother nature doing her natural thing in my view. Summer. I'd be interested to see how you boys over in the east on heavy land get on experimenting with planting no till spring cereals quite late ie after mid April.
 

Will7

Member
BASE UK Member
This is mother nature doing her natural thing in my view. Summer. I'd be interested to see how you boys over in the east on heavy land get on experimenting with planting no till spring cereals quite late ie after mid April.
What result are you expecting/ hoping for?

I planted barley around the 22nd April. It is far more even than the earlier drilled stuff without having all the secondary tillers
 
What result are you expecting/ hoping for?

I planted barley around the 22nd April. It is far more even than the earlier drilled stuff without having all the secondary tillers

Well its just that over in the land of "we can't grow spring crops" its always been the argument that you need to get crops in early on heavy land because of a potential dry summer, that is admittedly in a tillage situation. But what i'm wondering is how far down the calendar year you think you can push it on heavy land for spring cereals. In the west you can still plant decent crops in May but there seems little appetite to do that over your way - I also wonder how that would help against blackgrass and against the cover crops spoiling the establishment, and the negative roundup allelopathy.
 

franklin

New Member
Were moling yesterday. Was tough and slow going and quite tricky to get the mole to break through the surface! But it went in and did the job, albeit longer time than expected. We are pulling out fairly big chunks when lifting out, but they do roll back down.

As for spring cereals, I dont really want to be sowing in May.
 
Were moling yesterday. Was tough and slow going and quite tricky to get the mole to break through the surface! But it went in and did the job, albeit longer time than expected. We are pulling out fairly big chunks when lifting out, but they do roll back down.

As for spring cereals, I dont really want to be sowing in May.

Ok it is getting a bit late but my point is how do you know how late you can sow and do ok with it and can it help against blackgrass?
 

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
Ok it is getting a bit late but my point is how do you know how late you can sow and do ok with it and can it help against blackgrass?
It's a massive help against blackgrass, just been looking at our herbicide spend, we are way down on previous years and the farm is much cleaner. But we are straying off Joe's thread, start a new one Will!
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
It's a massive help against blackgrass, just been looking at our herbicide spend, we are way down on previous years and the farm is much cleaner. But we are straying off Joe's thread, start a new one Will!

I've abandoned the mole for now, trying to harvest peas before they bleach in the blazing sun tomorrow.

If it turns wet now it will be my fault for complaining it's too hot and dry.
 

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New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

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