3 August 2001

Ensure conditions allow sub-soiling

DONT rush to sub-soil fields unless you are sure they are compacted and conditions are right for the operation, warns Aubourn soils specialist Neil Fuller.

"A lot of set-aside is not as compacted as growers may think, for example. It is essential they get out into fields and dig a hole to check the need for sub-soiling before burning a lot of diesel unnecessarily."

Damp soils add to the problem, particularly on heavier ground. "If conditions are not right you will get soil lift, which looks satisfying, but there will not be the cracking and fissuring that is needed. You could end up doing more harm than good."

The temptation to get on with remedial soil work may seem overwhelming, particularly if harvest is being delayed, he admits. But patience is the key. &#42