We are off, oh no we are not!

The variable seed rate maize drilled with the John Deere 750A and the help of SOYL, is looking interesting. The field on the top left in the photo above was drilled with a conventional precision maize drill. The field in the foreground was sown on standard row widths with the seed rate varied according to the available soil moisture. Both fields have very similar soil type with quite large areas of gravel. The plants are now shoulder height in both blocks. Whilst we have had 70mm of rain during June it is now very dry and temperatures are in the mid 20’s. Interestingly, there are more signs of moisture stress in the conventionally drilled field. Could this be because there are more plants taking the little water that is available? I don’t have an answer yet, but hope to have a better idea by the end of the season.

A rather tentative start has been made on harvesting the winter barley. For reasons beyond our control we have had to cut part of a field. There are some quarrying works going on down by the river. They needed to strip some soil and the designated storage area is in my prized barley field. It’s one of the few flat, square, reasonable sized fields that we have. Still, I suppose we need the gravel to build all these houses that are required. The straw is still green but the grain is fit and came in at around 13%. The plan was to carry on cutting the rest of the field and the surrounding areas of winter barley. Alas, the green straw is making the job slow and hard on the machinery. The fact that we also want to bale it helped with the decision to stop once the tip area was clear. A fairly easy choice really, as there is nothing else anywhere near ready. The rape was only desiccated on Monday and the winter linseed is still not fit for its dose of Reglone. The upside? Over 9 tonne to the hectare. Good to start on a positive note. I fear the rape will be very disappointing though.

2 thoughts on “We are off, oh no we are not!

  1. We haven’t cut it yet but it’s been a challenge all through the year. Lack of moisture during September and at drilling didn’t help. Compounded by cabbage stem flea beetle hit the slowing growing young plants.
    Currently looks ok in places but it’s the number of poor areas which will drag the yield down. No one yet knows how much damage to yield that the larvae of the flea beetle will have inflicted during the spring. Some plants had over 10 larvae.

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