Friday, 25 October 2013

New Drill System Update

With nearly 100mm (4" in old money) of rain in October and the prospect of more to come our heavy Leicestershire clay (Denchworth and Hanslope) has called time on drilling for a while. We have about 65 acres of wheat to drill and some oats on a neighbour's farm.

The remaining wheat ground has a bad black grass problems and we have delayed drilling to apply a couple of glyphosate applications.

Spring oat stubble after straw rake and drilled with Cordiale winter wheat

The earlier drilled wheat and oats have emerged well
JB Diago drilled on 6th October

Mascani winter oats emerging on 24th Oct- drilled 7th October

The issues

Claydon worked well when used as a pure direct drill. Drilling after tine and disced land tended to pull up lots of clods, this was probably as a result of dry September weather. Rain did however come to the rescue of these slow emerging crops.

Claydon worked well after 50mm of rain soaked into seedbeds and drill tines produced a clod free tilth. However, with all big farm machinery, there comes a time when it gets to wet to continue.

Seed depth
We probably drilled some of our wheat a little deep, up to 75mm in places. We have some yellow boots on the crop, but the slugs have also found it difficult to hollow seed out at that depth.

Pre-baited a few fields with wet process metaldehyde pellets, but switched to Ferric phosphate in all wheat sown after beans and oats. When it came to drilling we placed 1kg of metaldehyde down the drill coulter and another 1.5kgs behind the rolls. Ferric phosphate was applied at 3kgs hectare.

Blackgrass and pre-emergence sprays
All wheat has received Crystal and some diflufenican, but we have only managed a couple of fields with a follow up of Avadex. Either the wind or the rain has beaten us, but we may still get a window of opportunity.


If I were to judge last year as 3/10, I'd give this autumn an 8/10.

 'A positive anything is better than a negative nothing'. Elbert Hubbard

Not perfect by any means but

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