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Thread: What is direct drilling?

  1. #1

    What is direct drilling?

    What is direct drilling?

    What are the advantages of direct drilling?

    If it's so good, why doesn't everyone do it?

  2. #2
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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    1. Sowing seed without cultivation (as opposed to one-pass cultivation and drilling)

    2. Advantages are lower power requirement (cf one-pass as above), prompt sowing, little soil disturbance so fewer weeds.Etc etc

    3. Farmers love to cultivate!

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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    It is a genre of crop production that among a hundred other things involves the use of a drill capable of sticking the seed into untilled ground. It is the other 99 constraints that limit its use in the UK which include a more extensive crop rotation, high management and often new investment in mechanisation such as wheel equipment and residue managment, herbicide management, nutrient managment and often the need for starter ferts and the mechanisation that goes with it.........etc.etc
    So you have to be a bit of a head banger to persue it and the folk that do tend to become a bit of a clique who link their ideas with so called conservation agriculture. If you join in you too will start to feel green and enriched and you will start to listen to a crowd of horse whisperers who target you as a direct driller to sell their secret knowledge.

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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Direct Drilling is the way how farmers used to grow crops before cultivation was practised.

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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Quote Originally Posted by saltoun View Post
    Direct Drilling is the way how farmers used to grow crops before cultivation was practised.


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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Direct drilling is a system of establishing crops with minimal soil disturbance. Unfortunately it is far from fool proof and can fail where soil to seed contact is poor.

    Even in Northern or Southern America direct drilling can and does fail. Anyone who has been there has seen it for themselves.

    Direct drilling, like min-till is a system which relies heavily on the conditions. There is limited evidence which suggests there is any agronomic benefit from them, much of the impetus for their introduction stems from the fact wheat was once 60/tonne.

    Those who talk like direct drilling or min-till is some kind of new fangled tool forget that both systems were widely in use in the 80's, when their proponents learned that they are both far from perfect.

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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Direct drilling is a system of establishing crops with minimal soil disturbance. Unfortunately it is far from fool proof and can fail where soil to seed contact is poor.

    Even in Northern or Southern America direct drilling can and does fail. Anyone who has been there has seen it for themselves.

    Direct drilling, like min-till is a system which relies heavily on the conditions. There is limited evidence which suggests there is any agronomic benefit from them, much of the impetus for their introduction stems from the fact wheat was once 60/tonne.

    Those who talk like direct drilling or min-till is some kind of new fangled tool forget that both systems were widely in use in the 80's, when their proponents learned that they are both far from perfect.
    Bang on!
    its pushed by companies and organisations who constantly seem claim that they are reinventing the wheel when it comes to farming (see second post on this thread) when actually it has phased in and out for years as it has never actually proved to be successful long term.

    The weeds argument is total crap. If it was true , then why is resistant black grass a massive problems in areas where min till etc has been traditionally practiced but the weed pretty much doesn't exist in areas where mixed farms have dominated and the plough has been the tool of choice.
    direct drilling has basically sprung up because people who for years have sworn by min till suddenly claim it's crap but can't bring themselves to buy a plough.

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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Quote Originally Posted by stu b View Post
    Bang on!
    its pushed by companies and organisations who constantly seem claim that they are reinventing the wheel when it comes to farming (see second post on this thread) when actually it has phased in and out for years as it has never actually proved to be successful long term.

    The weeds argument is total crap. If it was true , then why is resistant black grass a massive problems in areas where min till etc has been traditionally practiced but the weed pretty much doesn't exist in areas where mixed farms have dominated and the plough has been the tool of choice.
    direct drilling has basically sprung up because people who for years have sworn by min till suddenly claim it's crap but can't bring themselves to buy a plough.
    The rise of resistant grass weeds (and of course BLWs now) happened because of people moving away from ploughing, 'proper' (a whole argument in itself) rotations and using ever more chemistry in ever more dubious conditions. We also lost a lot of useful actives which were cruder but which worked well.

    With no new actives it is like the industry as a whole has sort of conditioned itself for the eventual introduction of GM crops. Since no agchem company can continually afford to bring new molecules to market, they will instead invent fewer more potent ones which of course will be available for use on GM varieties which are tolerant to it, and sell the same technology all over the world. By illustration I mean that it is now economic reality that no one will ever be able to invent a new active specifically for blackgrass since it is such a minute market worldwide.

  9. #9
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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    DD is not just about planting the seed in the ground and shutting the gate. It takes several years to get your soils into true DD conditions with 2 to 3 years lower yields than conventional planting.

    The things you need;
    1 A good drill
    2 Non stoney soil
    3 A wide rotation of autumn & SPRING crops
    4 Lots of cover crops
    5 A large bank balance
    6 Some sleeping pills

    With these 6 items DD will work and work well. Of the 6 3 and 4 are most important

    I have non of the 6 and I am struggling, well no struggling big time! So why have I gone DD? I have very stony/rocky soils, in fact its more soily rocks than rocky soil. Ploughing and tines just brings up more stones. Also metal wear is high. New points 7am turn at 9am throw away at 11am. I felt there must be a way to establish crops at lowers costs so I tried min till with a Kverneland CLC, yes I know tines! 1 pass after harvest (not straight behind the combine - 1 man operated farm) and 2 more to get a seed bed. This was good 1 year in 5, very good. So why only 1 in five? It all has to do with where I live, mid west France, our rainfall in summer autumn is lower than southern France and Spain. The continuous cultivating dried out the soil. Apparently 1 pass of a cultivator here loses 25mm of water here.

    So I bought an old Moore Uni drill. Year 1 OK, year 2 yields down, year 3 crop failures and very high amounts of brome. The brome is a b**er as its is so dry it does not germinate until very late. Crop failures as the drill does not close the slot well enough.

    As for the brome spring crops are the answer. But spring cereals are no good as 0.0mm (that is 0.0 inches for those still using imperial measurement) of rain fall from april onwards don't help. So I am ploughing, yes ploughing for maize.

    I want to try with some help running discs straight behind the combine and may be even incorporate some cover crops seeds in at the same time. They don't germinate either along with the brome. Oh and disc after harvest are just like trying do disc a concrete yard.

    These are my experiences of DD, as I started with given the right conditions It will work well.n If you don't try you dont know.

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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim 86FR View Post
    DD is not just about planting the seed in the ground and shutting the gate. It takes several years to get your soils into true DD conditions with 2 to 3 years lower yields than conventional planting.

    The things you need;
    1 A good drill
    2 Non stoney soil
    3 A wide rotation of autumn & SPRING crops
    4 Lots of cover crops
    5 A large bank balance
    6 Some sleeping pills

    With these 6 items DD will work and work well. Of the 6 3 and 4 are most important

    I have non of the 6 and I am struggling, well no struggling big time! So why have I gone DD? I have very stony/rocky soils, in fact its more soily rocks than rocky soil. Ploughing and tines just brings up more stones. Also metal wear is high. New points 7am turn at 9am throw away at 11am. I felt there must be a way to establish crops at lowers costs so I tried min till with a Kverneland CLC, yes I know tines! 1 pass after harvest (not straight behind the combine - 1 man operated farm) and 2 more to get a seed bed. This was good 1 year in 5, very good. So why only 1 in five? It all has to do with where I live, mid west France, our rainfall in summer autumn is lower than southern France and Spain. The continuous cultivating dried out the soil. Apparently 1 pass of a cultivator here loses 25mm of water here.

    So I bought an old Moore Uni drill. Year 1 OK, year 2 yields down, year 3 crop failures and very high amounts of brome. The brome is a b**er as its is so dry it does not germinate until very late. Crop failures as the drill does not close the slot well enough.

    As for the brome spring crops are the answer. But spring cereals are no good as 0.0mm (that is 0.0 inches for those still using imperial measurement) of rain fall from april onwards don't help. So I am ploughing, yes ploughing for maize.

    I want to try with some help running discs straight behind the combine and may be even incorporate some cover crops seeds in at the same time. They don't germinate either along with the brome. Oh and disc after harvest are just like trying do disc a concrete yard.

    These are my experiences of DD, as I started with given the right conditions It will work well.n If you don't try you dont know.
    In your situation I would think the US style would work best of all, mainly due to moisture retention.

    We managed to DD OSR and WB into stubbles merely with a tine drill (Amazone Primera), rolling afterwards to help press it in. We had plenty of stone and a lot of shallow soils.

  11. #11
    Member Tim 86FR's Avatar
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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    In your situation I would think the US style would work best of all, mainly due to moisture retention.

    We managed to DD OSR and WB into stubbles merely with a tine drill (Amazone Primera), rolling afterwards to help press it in. We had plenty of stone and a lot of shallow soils.
    What would be US style?

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    Re: What is direct drilling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim 86FR View Post
    What would be US style?
    Depending on the crop, drill it into whatever level of residue is there, and wait and see.

    The drier your climate and conditions the less soil disturbance you want to get into really.

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    Direct Drilling

    Where are you Will Scale

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    Re: Direct Drilling

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Where are you Will Scale
    Think you will find him on tff

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