Farmer Focus: Cereal drilling kit is already packed away

Continued unkind weather has all but put an end to cereal drilling here with the majority of the kit now washed off and put away.

Just the Mzuri drill is left out ready to grab any opportunity to drill winter beans.

Our early drilled wheat now looks well, the majority of which got a pre-emergence of Movon (Diflufenican + Flufenacet + Flurtamone) but no insecticide for Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus as conditions would not allow and the threat of aphid infection has reduced.

See also: How Yen growers delivered monster OSR and cereal yields

I am pleased with how cereals have fared drilled in less favorable conditions with the Mzuri, and are now slowly starting to emerge.

The way the drill places the seed on a shelf while creating a drainage channel with the leading leg ensures the seed is not sat in a sodden, cold environment.

The surface trash and cloddier finish also leaves the seed bed a bit more open to prevent slumping and capping when heavy rain has fallen shortly after drilling.

No further applications (apart from slug pellets) have taken place and anything drilled since the rain started has not had a herbicide.


I did manage to grab an opportunity to take out the volunteers in the oilseed rape.

At present we have been left with two-thirds of our original OSR area. What we have left is very patchy and we have a lot of very small plants. All we can do is try to get them through the winter.

Having rearranged cropping plans it is clear we are going to end up with a lot more spring cropping than originally planned.

Having also carried out budget version three based on these updated plans it is also clear there are going to be large financial implications to this dreadful autumn.

Elsewhere the winter routine has arrived early as the stock makes its way in and conditions deteriorate.

Having analysed our silage and found we had good quality forage, we carried out an exercise to see whether we could benefit from feeding a total mixed ration to the ewes.

After working out the potential saving on concentrate and with initial concerns of not having enough feed space, we found we were better off sticking with our tried and tested method.


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