05 June 1998
Small seed heads

Question

For the past several years we seem to be having slightly small seed heads in our winter wheat. We are a mixed farm, use more than average seed rates about-average nitrogen. Could the fact that we do not subsoil also be contributing to the problem?

Response

John Williams, soil scientist, ADAS Boxworth, Cambridgeshire

Answer

IT really is impossible to say unless you dig a hole. The small seed heads could be caused by any number of factors. A professional adviser would need to be aware of potential influences such as previous cropping and fertiliser policy.

If the grower suspects compaction, then the only thing to do is get out a spade and dig.