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  1. #1
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    Drilling row width vs blackgrass

    I know all these tined drills are all the rage and wider row spacings etc, but is this not going to exacerbate the problem if you have serious blackgrass issues, leaving bare dirt and space for the stuff to flourish rather than letting the wheat smother it?

    Also, with a no-till approach are we not leaving a lot of residue which is going to do the whole pre/peri-em liberator type job no good at all, given the large amount of OM left behind?

  2. #2
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    Re: Drilling row width vs blackgrass

    Strewth Mayo, I find myself in agreement with you!!!

    Last spring I established spring oats by three different means. Claydon, 7"band, 6" gap; Spring tine then ph disc combi, 0.5" band, 4.5" gap; spring tine, broadcast, ph in. The bcast field was sown initially as a cover crop, 2 months after the drilled fields. It was combined 6weeks after the drilled fields too, had no fert or chems, did 0.75t/ac. Almost completely free of weeds (admittedly stubble was clean at start) whereas the drilled fields had a herbicide. The blocked spout 'trial plots' strips, and the wider row spacings in the claydon field had the most weeds in the crop. It leads me to think that an extra row of claydon alike tines, say three rows of five coulters, 7" bands = 105" of ground covered with seed, with an inch between each 'row', keeping seedrate as previously.

    Im not convinced the conventional 5" rows are the right way forward, particularly at higher seedrates. Surely plants will thrive better in their own space, as opposed to been bunched up in an overcrowded row?

  3. #3
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    Re: Drilling row width vs blackgrass

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Strewth Mayo, I find myself in agreement with you!!!

    Last spring I established spring oats by three different means. Claydon, 7"band, 6" gap; Spring tine then ph disc combi, 0.5" band, 4.5" gap; spring tine, broadcast, ph in. The bcast field was sown initially as a cover crop, 2 months after the drilled fields. It was combined 6weeks after the drilled fields too, had no fert or chems, did 0.75t/ac. Almost completely free of weeds (admittedly stubble was clean at start) whereas the drilled fields had a herbicide. The blocked spout 'trial plots' strips, and the wider row spacings in the claydon field had the most weeds in the crop. It leads me to think that an extra row of claydon alike tines, say three rows of five coulters, 7" bands = 105" of ground covered with seed, with an inch between each 'row', keeping seedrate as previously.

    Im not convinced the conventional 5" rows are the right way forward, particularly at higher seedrates. Surely plants will thrive better in their own space, as opposed to been bunched up in an overcrowded row?
    The fact you drilled two months later would have had a big affect on the amount of weeds germinating, cant see why leaving the straw on the top and drilling into it rather than mixing the straw into the top couple of inches would make residuals fail, the same amount of OM is still there and by stirring the soil will encourage more weeds to grow, six of one half a dozen of the other in my mind and with the straw on the surface this should stop light getting to the ground to stimulate any weeds there

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    Re: Drilling row width vs blackgrass

    It is clear that drilling date makes a significant difference between 'start-up' blackgrass populations; I have seen the effect of drilling late years ago back when I was just about leaving school and it is refreshing to see that even this autumn nothing has really changed.

    I think some work has been done about the optimum cereal plant establishment/seed rate but in these kinds of winters and particularly down in my region plant stands can be entirely down to the conditions/weather/pot luck and it disinclines me to try anything too brave if you know what I mean.

    I am becoming convinced the Sumo/Solo type machines are doing the grass weed effort no good at all. Try as I might I am yet to find any agronomic reason for min-till, it is argued about a lot with the people I talk to, though they have the advantage over me in that I went away from the industry for several years, it still seems like the over-ridding reason for not ploughing was that wheat was once 60/tonne. Ironically now the arable farmer seems like the one who might benefit from its use, whilst I have more livestock orientated guys who are using Sumo etc type machines to establish maize and grass- full circle yet again.

  5. #5
    Junior Member sumomarv's Avatar
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    Re: Drilling row width vs blackgrass



    A field of Santiago drilled 1-9-13 at 80 kgs/ha with the Sumo DTS drill not far from Spud. First pic taken 22-9-13 and the rest were taken two days ago.

    The drill has row spacings of 333mm and a band width spread of around 150mm leaving a gap of 180mm between the bands of seed. A loosening leg runs in front of the seeding boot from any where between 150-250mm deep creating a 'strip' of loosened cultivated ground for the seed to be placed into. In this paticular field the loosening leg was set at 200mm.

    Ground inbetween rows remains undisturbed, leaving stubble and residue in situe to break down naturally over winter. Users of this system have noticed reduced grass weed burdens as weed seeds are not germinating inter-row as there is a lack of tilled ground for them to germinate into. Grass weeds in the seeded row generally get supressed by the growing crop.

    The herbicide program has remaned the same on this field as the rest of the farm, as the agronomst was unsure how things would go, but the farmer was slightly worried that the break down of the residue was causing some stress to the crop over winter but this has not proved to be the case. The recent photos show how well the crop has tillered out and filled in and looks very promising now.

    Not to get confused with min till systems, with the DTS drill you are not cultivating the whole profile of the soil, only to were the seed is to be placed. Soil structure therefore remains intact inbetween the rows, incresing worm populations and soil fauna and also the load bearing ability of the field meaning traffic is able to travel sooner and in a lot wetter conditions than more conventionally cultivated fields.

    The tractor used around 12ltrs/ha fuel in one pass. No other operations were carried out, but the straw was baled prior to drilling.

    I will get more details on chemical and fert applications for this field when i can.

    Marv.
    sumo1.com

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