13 October 1995

Pre-spring drill pays dividends

DRILLING late wheats before the spring pays big dividends, particularly if spring conditions are poor.

"Normally we expect just a 15-20% difference between late autumn and spring drilling dates," says NIAB cereals specialist Richard Fenwick. That equates to 1-1.25t/ha (0.4-0.5t/acre). But this years drought confirmed the value of using any winter drilling opportunity to secure establishment.

Late autumn sowings out-yielded spring-planted wheats by a resounding 2.4t/ha (1t/acre).

Mr Fenwick urges using traditional autumn varieties until Nov-ember and then consider switching to a spring variety, which should be drilled as soon as possible. &#42