Spring is on the way, with noticeably longer evenings and some pleasant sunshine.
It never ceases to amaze how quickly land can dry at this time of year. A few hours of sunshine and wind and there is a dust blowing. The Roundup has been applied and cultivations will commence as soon as soil conditions are suitable. The John Deere 8345RT has been coupled to the new 6m Vaderstad Topdown and waits patiently for the beginning of the spring campaign.
High-yielding crops and straw off-take mean higher levels of P and K are required to maintain soil indexes and give the growing crop the required nutrients for maximum potential. Yield potential of spring crops has increased dramatically, nutrient input must match this potential if it to be realised.
A high-yielding crop can remove 35kg/ha of P and 100kg/ha of K from the soil. A fertiliser blend of 12-8-18 using sulphatre of potash as the K source, brings very high K and S levels to the soil. We will be using a wax-coated fertiliser from the Target Xtra range, which is specifically designed for arable farmers spreading wide widths.
I am also awaiting the arrival of two John Deere 6210Rs. The 30 series has served the farm well over the last few years and I am looking forward to the new series. These tractors will take care of the fertiliser application and rolling. The high output of the 9m Spirit drill means tractors perform an individual function to maintain maximum drilling capacity.
Spring drilling is highly dependant on suitable weather and soil conditions; when the conditions are suitable, it’s necessary to pull out all the stops and get as much drilled as possible. Yield is impacted greatly if drilling is delayed due to adverse weather, nearly as much as drilling in unsuitable conditions. Here’s to a dry spring.