Field conditions are excellent for the time of year in Down, says Iain. When talking to him this week he had just started to sow Extase winter wheat after spring beans at a rate of 190kg/ha.
He says his winter barley sowing is nearly finished. This year he sowed around 130ac using his Claydon drill with minimal disturbance discs and twin-tine kit.
The fields were rolled soon after and a pre-emergence spray of Liberator (0.4 l/ha) and Defy (2 l/ha) was applied.
Iain says he doesn’t use insecticides on the farm and he hopes that BYDV will not be a major issue this autumn
Conditions at sowing were good and the first fields have emerged well. This year Iain is sowing the varieties Kingsbarn (hybrid six-row), Idilic (BYDV-tolerant variety) as well as Mountain (two row).
Iain says he doesn’t use insecticides on the farm and he hopes that BYDV will not be a major issue this autumn.
He has heard of issues with growers securing seed this year due to new requirements for English seed imports and supply chain disruption.
Luckily, however, he had his seed ordered early and has had no issues.
Some of Iain’s winter oilseed rape crops have failed to emerge and he questions if this could be related to issues with slugs or herbicide residues.
Some of the crop may have to be resown in winter cereals.
He finished cutting his spring beans on 20 September which was almost a week earlier than last year. Iain says the yield was an acceptable 2.1t/ac at about 19% moisture. The straw was chopped.
Iain’s 2021 winter oilseed rape was dried and sold, with final yield of about 1.65t/ac
The beans are currently on his drying floor to slowly bring down the moisture of 15%. He says they look nice and have a clean sample.
Iain’s 2021 winter oilseed rape was dried and sold, with final yield of about 1.65t/ac. The fields have since been stubble-harrowed to spread straw and reduce slug pressure.
His spring oats, destined for porridge, have been sampled and are within specification for Whites Oats. The grain is due to be collected next year.
Norman says he has been blessed with the weather this autumn. While there have been heavy rain showers in areas surrounding his farm, he has missed a lot of them.
As such, ground conditions remain excellent for the time of year.
He started sowing winter cereals on 23 September and was finished three days later. He started with winter barley, sowing the varieties Cassia and Carnival.
Both varieties were direct-drilled at a rate of 225kg/ha into spring bean stubble. The crops have just emerged but he doesn’t think there is a huge risk from aphids.
Norman intends to apply a trace element spray of magnesium sulphate on to the crop shortly.
He hasn’t applied a herbicide yet and while there are no grassweeds present
He says that sap analysis over the past year has shown the crops on his farm are low on the trace element so he is trying to address this early this year.
He hasn’t applied a herbicide yet and while there are no grassweeds present, there are some volunteer beans emerging.
He will have to apply slug pellets to a part of the field, however, due to high pressure.
Norman sowed his winter wheat crops straight after. This year he growing JB Diego sown at 225kg/ha.
He is also growing a three-way variety mix consisting of Graham, Bennington and JB Diego which was also sown at 225kg/ha.
The crops, which are just peeping, were sown into either a flailed summer cover crop or into winter oats stubble with chopped straw.
His winter oilseed rape crops are looking very good and will require a graminicide shortly
Norman says the only real problem he had with drilling into chopped oat straw was that some of the straw is being pushed into the seed slot and may become acidic when it begins to break down.
He didn’t notice any increase in slug pressure but he may need to apply a herbicide to control volunteers.
His winter oilseed rape crops are looking very good and will require a graminicide shortly.
Elsewhere, Norman has been busy drawing and spreading compost and dung.
Around 80mm of rain has fallen on Jonathan’s farm over the past month. Trafficability on his heavier ground has deteriorated but his dry land is in very good condition.
As such, he made an effort to sow his heavier ground first in anticipation of wetter conditions.
Jonathan began sowing winter barley on 20 September. So far he has sown 130ac of the varieties Orwell and Bolton at a rate of 185kg/ha each.
So far he has around 80ac of Extase and Graham winter wheat sown, both of which were sown at 185kg/ha.
All of his crops so far were sown with his 3m Solitair 9 Lemken drill into ploughed ground
When talking to him this week, Jonathan was in the middle of drilling Tayo hybrid winter rye, which was sown at a rate of 80kg/ha.
He intends on increasing his area of rye this year to around 100ac.
All of his crops so far were sown with his 3m Solitair 9 Lemken drill into ploughed ground.
This week he will demo a new 4m Lemken drill with front mounted tank which is expected to be a big step up in terms of output.
While he has ploughed and drilled all of his crops so far, Jonathan intends on sowing crops via minimum tillage towards the end of this week.
By that stage he will have moved on to his drier ground. So far, he hasn’t rolled any of his sowed crops, but he intends to towards the end of the week.
Normally aphids are not an issue in the northwest but air and soil temperatures are higher than normal for the time of year
Jonathan aims to apply a pre-emergence herbicide spray as soon as the field is sown. Most crops this year will receive Herold at 0.3l/ha.
His earlier-sown winter barley and wheat crops have emerged and he is keeping a close eye on signs of aphid activity.
Normally aphids are not an issue in the northwest but air and soil temperatures are higher than normal for the time of year he says.
Finally, Jonathan finished his spring bean harvest two weeks ago. The crop averaged over 2t/ac with moistures varying from 21% to 27%. The crop was dried down to 15%.