Look in nettles for lo-till kit

13 July 2001

Look in nettles for lo-till kit

By Tom Allen-Stevens

Growers could have cost effective cultivation equipment rusting away in the nettles, according to a panel of minimum tillage experts.

Rather than use what they have, they all too easily go out and buy new kit, reducing any potential cost savings.

The claims are made by Grant Thornton accountant Gary Markham and Morley Agronomist Ben Freer.

They have joined an exclusive panel of six top lo-till experts who are answering growers questions through the Crops/FWi Lo-till Link Line. Click here to find out more.

“Too often min till is used as an excuse to buy some new toys, without even selling any of the old stuff,” says Mr Freer.

Lo-tilling can include anything from heavy discs to light tines, points out Mr Freer and growers should check first whether old kit can be used or modified for the job.

Mr Markham warns that a move to minimal tillage is likely to require additional funding over several years.

“That is why it is crucial to calculate your cash-flow, not just a gross margin, and reconcile all your costs to a profit and loss account,” he says.

The interactive Link Line, the first lo-till question time to be run on the internet, went live on Friday (13 July).

Growers can choose one or more experts from a panel to answer their own specific question on lo-till, or view previously-asked questions.

Farmer Jim Bullock, machinery specialist Steve Townsend, conservation specialist Alastair Leake and Syngenta technical advisor Iain Hamilton also sit on the panel of experts.

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