Spring is on the way with noticeably longer evenings and some pleasant sunshine. As soon as the lighter land is dry enough I will start to cultivate and begin broadcasting an NPK+S blend prior to drilling.
We found that using high levels of potash at drilling last spring paid back in greater yields and helped straw strength at the harvest – and this will by my approach again this year.
By using sulphate of potash instead of muriate of potash, I am able to apply all of the crop’s sulphur requirements at drilling. This will leave the remaining nitrogen applied as one split once the crop has emerged.
Azalea will be added to my list of barley varieties for sowing this spring. We have found that this variety consistently gives high bushel weights each year on some of our heavier land and its ability to ripen earlier will, hopefully, help to spread the work load at the harvest. Quench, Frontier and Propino will be sown on the remainder of the land. Frontier has shown good resistance to net blotch and has also given consistently good yields in the past in this area.
The Farm Machinery Show was certainly well worth the visit with plenty of impressive kit on display, record crowds and a bumper turnout of machines. There was a positive feel around the show and all stands reported a lot of interest in their products. I took this opportunity to take a good look at our new drill the Vaderstad Spirit. Some areas of concern I had on the demonstrator models were already rectified on the new model and the coulter suspension system should give even drilling depth on varying soil types. I am expecting delivery of a 9m model before the end of the month, which will be coupled to a John Deere 8345R in preparation for a busy spring drilling campaign.
Farmer Focus Philip Reck