PREPARING THE SITE
FOR THE BIG EVENT
Above: Grass is drilled for the working areas with a Vaderstad drill.
Left: In the absence of sheep, the site was mown in March to prevent the grass getting too far forward for the event.
Above: Compound fertiliser is appled to the site in early October following a September soil analysis.
Above left: Drainage is carried out to remedy some localised potentially wet areas in mid-September.
Left: Rolling in wet conditions in late-February.
• Aug 22 Entire 69ha (170-acre) site sprayed with 2 litres/ha of Roundup to clean up the volunteer barley that had grown and leave a clean stubble ready for seedbed preparations.
• Sept 6 Soil sampling of the site by Kemira.
• Sept 7 Site disced.
• Sept 10 Site pressed to provide a firm, even seedbed for the drill.
• Sept 17 Drainage carried out to remedy some areas that had proved to be a problem during the previous wet season.
• Sept 27 Grass drilled for the working demo areas with a Vaderstad direct drill. The grass has been tramlined for the first time this year to make it easier and more accurate to apply fertilisers and sprays.
• Oct 3 Slug pellets applied as a precaution against pest damage. The weather had been a little wet and some of the site was not rolled after drilling. This was due to poor ground conditions and the risk of capping, therefore making it more prone to slug damage. Although this is not normally a problem with grass, we dont want to take any risks for this event.
• Oct 10 Compound Kemira fertiliser applied to the site. The rate applied to each field was adjusted to take into account the soil analysis which had been carried out in September.
• Nov 16 All working demo grass sprayed with 5 litres/ha of Leyclene. This was to take out mayweeds, chickweed, annual meadow grass and volunteer barley.
• Feb 28 Despite somewhat wet conditions, the site was rolled with a flat roller pulled by a tractor equipped with low-ground-pressure tyres.
• Mar 12 No sheep grazing is taking place on the site, so the grass has been mown to avoid it getting too far forward for the event. A roller mower with mulching blades was hired to carry out the operation. Although the absence of sheep at first seemed like a problem for the site, it has since been agreed that the mower is much easier to look after than the sheep – it never got out and has not poached any gateways.
• Mar 25 Site mown a second time with the same mower.
• Apr 4 The fertiliser spreader was tray tested to ensure an even spread pattern before 300kg/ha of Kemira Multi-cut sulphur fertiliser was applied.
• Apr 7 Working demo plots were marked out and the mowing of the bus and trailer routes began.
• Apr 15 Second dose of 250kg/ha of Multi-cut sulphur was applied. This was carried out later than normal because the lack of sheep resulted in more excess spring growth and the grass had to be held back to ensure a quality crop for the Grassland 2002 site at the end of May.