Justin Blackwood farms
562ha (1389 acres) from
Grange Farm, Great
Brington, Northants, on a
range of farming
hinges around winter wheat,
plus winter barley, rape,
peas, oats and occasionally
I have always tried to do every operation as best as conditions will allow and to do them at the right time. With soil types on the land we farm ranging from sandy loam to silty clay – often within the same field – this has usually
I have always tried to do every operation as best as conditions will allow and to do them at the right time. With soil types on the land we farm ranging from sandy loam to silty clay – often within the same field – this has usually paid dividends.
But if we are going to have to live with cereal prices of £70-80/t for the next few years we have got to look at our fixed costs again.
To this end we have been looking at different seed-bed preparation ideas. We have had demonstrations of several double presses, including the Cousins and Galucho, both with leading tines and the new Simba Culti press with its hydraulically operated tool bar with levelling and firming fingers mounted between the tines and front press wheels. All have done a very impressive job.
I believe that under most conditions such equipment should be operated at the upper end of their speed range. The manufacturers estimated hp requirement/metre is usually optimistically low. Given adequate power up front an increase in forward speed can soon expand the work rate of a narrower machine.
Most of our 140ha (350 acres) of oilseed rape, including 40ha (100 acres) of Martina High Erucic industrial rape, Licrown and Apex was drilled from Aug 26 to Sept 4. Some went in on Sept 15 after late harvested wheat.
Our cereals were all drilled between Sept 17 and Oct 4. Thats early for us and included 210ha (525 acres) of winter wheat (Riband, Malacca, Charger, Abbot and Rialto), 55ha (135 acres) of winter barley (Regina & Muscat) and 22ha (54 acres) of winter oats (Aintree).
Froidure winter peas were combi drilled on Oct 24-26. Punch winter beans at 20 seeds/m2 were drilled on Oct 28-31 onto the stubble and ploughed in 13-15cm (5in-6in) deep only.
That just leaves us with 69ha (171 acres) of spring beans to drill.n
Justin Blackwood grew winter peas at Grange Farm with some success this year, and has drilled more again this autumn.