Dismiss Notice
Direct Driller Magazine Issue 2 is now available to read online

click here to read...

Direct Driller

To wet

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling General Discussion' started by yellow belly, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. one advantage with notill is that once the top is dry enough it will be dryer underneath
    If we had cultivated it may have been dryer on the top but still too wet underneath
    Drilling before it is dry enough underneath is not a good thing Under any system
  2. 7610 super q

    7610 super q Member


    Wet ground is wet ground ?
    I don't see drilling method makes much difference.
  3. Badshot

    Badshot Member

    Unmoved soil takes the wet better, and does seem to dry to a use able state quicker than heavily cultivated soil.
    It also carries machinery a lot better so much less compaction is created.
    benferg, Brisel, Kiwi Pete and 3 others like this.
  4. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    I guess it depends on your soil type but cultivated land on our soils is much longer drying

    Stopped raining on Friday and we drilled Saturday, rained today but we should be back on tomorrow

    This is on boys land but I know from past experience of same soil that if wet when cultivated it takes a few days to dry

    Cover crops keep wheels running clean as well I find almost like a bridge between tyre and soil
  5. spin cycle

    spin cycle Member

    north norfolk
    if you plough or cultivate it lets air in (thats why we do it).....but in so doing it can hold more water

    if you havn't ploughed your ground yet you'll be able to get on to plough drill before you can get on ploughed ground thats laid wet
    Zippy768 likes this.
  6. 7610 super q

    7610 super q Member

    I know cultivated ground ends up like porridge after rain, and takes ages to dry out, but if it's dry enough to direct drill, it's dry enough to plough and P/H then drill, surely ?
    I notice the old practice of ploughing in November to get the frost mould, and planting spuds in the spring has all but ceased now, ground is ploughed straight in front of bed formers/ tillers these days.
  7. DrWazzock

    DrWazzock Member

    I agree with you. The only problem is that the water has to go somewhere. So if it isn't soaking in because the soil is hard/consolidated/naturally structured/compacted then it tends to go horizontally and run off the field, so I have found.

    Severely cultivated soil where no larger lumps are left intact does soak up a huge amount of water and becomes almost a suspension like a blancmange. It won't carry traffic, and if it does it compacts badly and tends to slump into an anaerobic mess on further heavy rain. It takes forever to dry. I agree.

    So what to do in the event of a compacted field such as after beet and sheep? I don't want water to run off the field or run into low areas and pond. If I over cultivate it will turn into blancmange if it rains again. What I have done is used an old paraplow to gently break the compaction without pulverising it and losing all the structure and weight bearing capacity. This hopefully allows water to infiltrate, reduces ponding and speeds drying whilst alleviating the compaction and breaking the plough pan. Well that's the theory.

    Maybe I should have just left it and direct drilled into it, but the top 3" were like a hard crust and there were too many beet cart wheels and such like.

    I am now tempted to cultivate very shallowly before drilling to kill the big flush of weed seedlings that have germinated following the glyphosate a fortnight ago. This would also level and firm the surface to allow good seed to soil contact, but I don't want to stir deeply. High speed power Harrow? Stubble cultivator?

    Ramble over.

    I could have just ploughed it but it would dry it out too much in the sand and bring up some terrible clay in the heavy land.

    Wish I had some free draining wold land.
  8. I have some with cover crops not sprayed

    Do I drill on the green and spray off a week later or spray off as soon as possible then drill as soon as it is dry
  9. if you want or need more drying of the ground, dont spray them off yet.. as them growing on for a while will take more moisture out especially now its warming up.
    Kiwi Pete and Clive like this.
  10. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    I think the right answer is dependant on soil type

    we usually spray after or just before so always green under the drill and plants sucking up water as long as possible
  11. Warp Land Farmer

    Hazzard County
    Do you liquid fert with the drill putting spring cereal crops in when drilling on the green to avoid N lockup when the CC residue starts to decompose?
  12. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    yes, 150L/ha of 26N in seedbed
  13. I would say i can direct drill in wetter conditions than you can plough in. But maybe in ploughing you can pull up dry soil from a wet surface sometimes
    rob1 and 7610 super q like this.
  14. DrWazzock

    DrWazzock Member

    Regarding ploughing in November, even here in the "dry" east it's too wet to plough this farm in November. 4th October has been last day for any cultivations for quite a few years now. If ploughing is left over winter it seems to slump so badly that it is wet and solid by spring time, with no mould left then it bakes hard. Hence ploughing, if it's done at all here gets left to a dry spell in late winter which is also pretty rare now.

    I remember many not quite so happy days in spring time bouncing a set of duck foots over plough ridges that you could strike matches on. It was a slow old job getting a seedbed before the power Harrow came along.

    Trying now to rebuild structure, OM, and reduce cultivations to the minimum or nothing but it's not easy with root crops and livestock and wet winters.
    7610 super q likes this.
  15. we managed to spray off half of spring crops a few of weeks ago
    have the rest to spray off with wind that will be next week end

    in a dry year I find that the later drilled on the green can dry out too much not a problem this year but may be in 2 weeks time
    for this reason I planned to spray off in februarry at the latest this also reduces takeall in the following wheat crop after a spring breakcrop
    when we had setaside we could see takeall where there were thick wheat vollunteers sprayed off in may
    last week travelling on cover was a lot easier than non cover fields

    plan to use a lot of cover for next years spring crops some funded by stewardship
    BSH and Clive like this.
  16. BSH

    BSH Member

    Romsey, Hampshire
    I found the same as you. Last year green cover sucked too much moisture out of the soil. I had intended to spray early march but couldnt so have decided to spray at drilling or day after. IME it needs to be a good period before 4-6 weeks or at drilling otherwise the AMG in particular is a problem with allelopathic acids and also slugs are a problem.
  17. mikep

    mikep Member

    Very fine line there. A good cover in good weather and longer days will loose more water through transpiration and the water removed will be deeper water. The problem is if its borderline wet and dodgy weather then you need to keep the surface dry, any rain in a cover will just make the top sticky again. All you need is prescience or hindsight before:woot:
  18. yes it is a fine line between covers using moisture and giving protection from the sun and wind,..re. growing plant usage, verses less evaporation of surface moisture... of course.
  19. mikep

    mikep Member

    Agreed but I'm now finding that without covers I am getting a thick mat of moss which is the worst of all. It covers the ground and stops evaporation but doesn't do anything to use the water:banghead:
    I will have to try to convince natural England to let me grow covers there as most years the natural regeneration is the square of doodle squit thanks to notill not recycling weed seeds.
  20. DrWazzock

    DrWazzock Member

    Who has time, money and weather windows for all this. Left as stubble after harvest with a cover of weeds and volunteers cos there's no time to do anything else with it. Wait till it's reasonably dry in the spring, in with the drag to loosen it up and help it dry. Power Harrow, drill. Plenty of worms. Decent crop.

Share This Page