Wheat varieties for (or not for) direct drilling

Andy004

Member
Location
Herts
Hi Folks, i don't often post, i work at Rothamsted and we're hoping to set up a DD experiment with different wheat varieties. Interested in any comments on suitable or unsuitable candidates, also any comments on particular traits that might be important for direct drilling. Happy for any comments on old varieties as well as new.
Many thanks
Andy
 
early ness would be a big help to many current varieties are late maturing
in the 1980s every variety was early relative to todays crop a good week later now days

we find notill crops slower to get going even drilled in late september

lodging is not a big issue due to lower early nitrogen availability

if you are doing trials drill them early the 20th september is a good date
it is equivalent to second week of october for maxi tilled land both for growth stage and weed pressure
 

Fish

Member
Location
North yorkshire
Up here in North Yorks, I’ve grown Costello and Gleam for a good few years, both seem to stand up to hard conditions.
I grew a good few fields of Extase last year and it was top variety on this farm, and I also believe that Extase came top in a local early drilling trial, much to everyones suprise.
 

Farmer Roy

Member
Arable Farmer
Err, with 30 odd years of zero till farming myself ( it is the default farming system here now, some people been doing it for 40 or more years, hardly anyone regularly does “conventional” tillage anymore ), growing a very wide range of crop species, I would have to say we don’t choose ANY crop varieties ( or species for that matter ) based on whether they are suited to “DD” or not . . .
maybe our plant breeders have different priorities to yours, maybe our establishment techniques are better, I don’t know ?

the only comment I will make, is that at times we will plant quite deep - “moisture seeking” - to get the seed down into moisture. In these situations, especially with wheat, then varieties with long coleoptiles are obviously better suited

but as far as specific varieties either suited or not suited to “DD” in general ? Nah 🤷‍♂️
 

Two Tone

Member
Mixed Farmer
I’m relatively new to Direct drilling, but pretty stunned as to how well it works if you look at it logically.
Timing and conditions are the absolute priority, which for Autumn drilling mean at least 2 weeks earlier that for Conventional

I have had considerable success with Extase. I had a block that was drilled in late September 2020, followed by a big stack of pre-em herbicide plus Avadex granules. We then had Storm Alex dump 2.7” of rain the first week of October, washing all the chems into the seed slot. This caused massive damage to the Extase seed, which stunted it very badly.
Looking at Google Earth of that field the following April, it just looked brown expert where the field drains were.
We gave it 150kgs N split mid Feb and Mid April, just to try to wake it up and give it a chance.
The only fungicide it had was a very cheap and cheerful T2 in Late May, by which time, we could not believe how much it had improved.
Come harvest, I couldn’t believe how this Extase had not only recovered, but turned into a very decent crop, yielding up to 11.5 tonnes/ha.

We live and learn. In the Autumn of 2021, we split the pre-em in two, so as not to risk the same damage again. This allowed Full rate Avadex liquid to be put on with the half rate pre-em of Crystal (2l) and DFF (0.1l).
In many cases, we found we did not need to follow up with the 2nd half of the pre-em.

No such problems with pre-em damage this year and the crop looks very well indeed.


We also drill Bazooka Hybrid Winter barley, which is a bit of a test, considering it is drilled at such a low seed rate.
You have to get used to the fact that you will be looking at the previous wheat crop stubble all winter until the Barley grows taller than it, the following April. But within a Month, it will be at ear emergence, as it is right now!
 
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Andy004

Member
Location
Herts
Many thanks for all the replies, very interesting.
Badshot - any particular traits of Skyfall and Crusoe that you think make them suited, or just that they do well?
Yellowbelly - interesting comments. We still have Avalon and Mercia in regular trials, can’t say I notice them much earlier than modern varieties, but as with a lot of expts, we have to harvest all on one day anyway. Have Soissons as well, and that is early. Interesting comment to drill early, I’ve taken note of that. We will have the same varieties under conventional tillage. Early ness is certainly a trait we can work on, and have done in recent years.
Ollie - thanks, this is another trait we should be able to work on, we’re currently growing 800 land races from around the globe, so if the traits exist we should be able to at least look for them.
Fish - I assume you’re direct drilling Costello and Gleam? I’ve not had either in trials here, i’ll Certainly consider them, thanks.
Farmer Roy - great to hear experience from Australia. I tend to agree With your thourghts. I suspect a good variety will be good under different systems, not just one. But, as DD seems to be increasing in the UK, it seems at the least we should be thinking about these things.
Teslacoils - I’ve a sack of Squareheads somewhere, could always give it a go!

Thanks folk, more comments and thourghts welcome, including tips on DDing and how to get the best from it.
Andy
 

B'o'B

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Rutland
I’m relatively new to Direct drilling, but pretty stunned as to how well it works if you look at it logically.
Timing and conditions are the absolute priority, which for Autumn drilling mean at least 2 weeks earlier that for Conventional

I have had considerable success with Extase. I had a block that was drilled in late September 2020, followed by a big stack of pre-em herbicide plus Avadex granules. We then had Storm Alex dump 2.7” of rain the first week of October, washing all the chems into the seed slot. This caused massive damage to the Extase seed, which stunted it very badly.
Looking at Google Earth of that field the following April, it just looked brown expert where the field drains were.
We gave it 150kgs N split mid Feb and Mid April, just to try to wake it up and give it a chance.
The only fungicide it had was a very cheap and cheerful T2 in Late May, by which time, we could not believe how much it had improved.
Come harvest, I couldn’t believe how this Extase had not only recovered, but turned into a very decent crop, yielding up to 11.5 tonnes/ha.

We live and learn. In the Autumn of 2021, we split the pre-em in two, so as not to risk the same damage again. This allowed Full rate Avadex liquid to be put on with the half rate pre-em of Crystal (2l) and DFF (0.1l).
In many cases, we found we did not need to follow up with the 2nd half of the pre-em.

No such problems with pre-em damage this year and the cop looks very well indeed.


We also drill Bazooka Hybrid Winter barley, which is a bit of a test, considering it is drilled at such a low seed rate.
You have to get used to the fact that you will be looking at the previous wheat crop stubble all winter until the Barley grows taller than it, the following April. But within a Month, it will be at ear emergence, as it is right now!
Near crop failure delivers 11.5t/Ha, careful now, carry on like that much more and you’ll have to start writing in FW!🤣
 

B'o'B

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Rutland
We are on light land and use modest seed rates, been no-till since 2001 and generally drill 1st-3rd week of October. To be honest I think pretty much any variety can perform no-till. All varieties I’ve grown seem to be able to perform. The biggest driver to my mind is the weather 48-72 hours after planting.
 

teslacoils

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I'd suggest Soissons will not do well. Its neither suited for early drilling, nor does it tiller well. The earliest I've drilled Soissons was first week October and I'd suggest mid September sown should be a disaster.

@Andy004 - I've 2kg of squareheads, but I'd be interested if you had say 250 seeds available so I could plant side by side as mine has been grown on for a good ten years.
 

Andy004

Member
Location
Herts
Thanks again. Two Tone and Eagleye, sounds like Extase would be worth including. All our work is with wheat, so won’t be including any barley. If we drill the DD trial early I think we’ll drill the conventional at the same time, anyone disagree with this? Not sure there is a correct answer.
Thanks
 

Two Tone

Member
Mixed Farmer
Near crop failure delivers 11.5t/Ha, careful now, carry on like that much more and you’ll have to start writing in FW!🤣
Got a picture of some of it doing way over 10, nearly 11. But some did get to 11.5.
Couldn’t believe how it recovered!
36AD64D4-3CC9-420A-9396-7722E64814A0.jpeg

AC40E3EE-D78D-45C8-8B99-FF2E6D3E8307.jpeg


The lesson learned was not to give up on it and give it a chance. It’s almost like you’ve kicked it in the teeth and it comes back fighting.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Many thanks for all the replies, very interesting.
Badshot - any particular traits of Skyfall and Crusoe that you think make them suited, or just that they do well?
Yellowbelly - interesting comments. We still have Avalon and Mercia in regular trials, can’t say I notice them much earlier than modern varieties, but as with a lot of expts, we have to harvest all on one day anyway. Have Soissons as well, and that is early. Interesting comment to drill early, I’ve taken note of that. We will have the same varieties under conventional tillage. Early ness is certainly a trait we can work on, and have done in recent years.
Ollie - thanks, this is another trait we should be able to work on, we’re currently growing 800 land races from around the globe, so if the traits exist we should be able to at least look for them.
Fish - I assume you’re direct drilling Costello and Gleam? I’ve not had either in trials here, i’ll Certainly consider them, thanks.
Farmer Roy - great to hear experience from Australia. I tend to agree With your thourghts. I suspect a good variety will be good under different systems, not just one. But, as DD seems to be increasing in the UK, it seems at the least we should be thinking about these things.
Teslacoils - I’ve a sack of Squareheads somewhere, could always give it a go!

Thanks folk, more comments and thourghts welcome, including tips on DDing and how to get the best from it.
Andy
No, I don't think there's anything particularly exceptional about either.
But my yields haven't changed going from min till to tine drill to disc drill.
At least not to the detriment anyway.
I've seen over 12t from both.
Last year 9.5.
 

B'o'B

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Rutland
Got a picture of some of it doing way over 10, nearly 11. But some did get to 11.5.
Couldn’t believe how it recovered!
View attachment 1034074
View attachment 1034075

The lesson learned was not to give up on it and give it a chance. It’s almost like you’ve kicked it in the teeth and it comes back fighting.
I'm not disputing the facts, we have also had fields that we had all but given up hope on go on the perform above and beyond, and your crop does indeed look very well in those photos. Your earlier post just made me think of some FW harvest reportsI keep up the good work, I always enjoy your posts:).
 

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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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