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Thread: HGCA and DD

  1. #1
    Badshot
    Guest

    HGCA and DD


  2. #2
    Jim Bullock
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Badshot View Post
    Interesting document.
    Did anybody in the central southern parts of the UK have an input into this publication..?(All further info seems to be available from SAC) IMO the area of western Europe least likely to be able to benefit from no-till are the North east of England and Scotland..These areas being too wet, cool and yet growing winter sown crops...go further North and East (Finland) or West to Canada where mainly spring crops are grown no-till appears to work...
    Not complaining or being anti-plough or anything else just questioning the data source...

  3. #3
    ssord
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bullock View Post
    Interesting document.
    Did anybody in the central southern parts of the UK have an input into this publication..?(All further info seems to be available from SAC)
    this was my main observation too

    document seems a bit glass half empty

  4. #4
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    I think much of the information would have been gleaned from the Soil and Tillage Research Academic article which SAC produced - not sure they spoke to many farmers either as it is pretty much a desk based review - they have had the chance to speak to farmers though.

    I did offer to help them out with it but I don't have a Doctorate so not sure they took the offer seriously.

    Its a start I guess. Although I feel the review is lacking accuracy (nitrous oxides a bit of a trojan horse, animal manures, incorporation of crop residue) I sometimes think in the world of research/ academia/ farm based study as long as they can do stuff without involving a farmer they'd be happy.

    I'm interested to see what projects the HGCA come up with on their 1.6m soils project.

  5. #5
    Rob Holmes
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    I got the impression of pessimism when reading it

  6. #6
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Holmes View Post
    I got the impression of pessimism when reading it
    I'd say extreme caution. It has been written by non experts for non experts to be fair so I'd still say its a start but if it possibly piques the interest of a few then that's ok.

  7. #7
    yellow belly
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    if dd was easy and straight forward then a 4 page document could give a blue print but as we all know this is not the case

    if it ws easy then every one would be doing it

  8. #8
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Got the impression they didn't really want to produce it and in any event most of it was along the lines of: 'doesn't work, we don't recommend this'.

    In any event exactly how this is supposed to benefit those interested in DD I have no idea. It was hardly technical and if it was, its about 10 years too late.

    Box ticking excersise: 'yes we did a bit about DD, can we mov eon please?'

  9. #9
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow belly View Post
    if dd was easy and straight forward then a 4 page document could give a blue print but as we all know this is not the case

    if it ws easy then every one would be doing it
    It is quite easy really.

    Once your up to speed with it, which takes a year or two. I find it gets easier to do each year.

  10. #10
    strip-till-phil
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    I havn't read it all yet but the first thing I noticed was the pathetic picture of DD'd wheat

    Surely they could do better than that!!!

  11. #11
    uigeadail
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    I'm probably going to be on my own here but I thought it was ok. No one does DD up here and no one knows much about it and from that perspective I thought it covered the pros and cons well. Kept it simple for us

    I would be interested in learning about DD though, can anyone recommend any good reading to learn more.

  12. #12
    strip-till-phil
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by uigeadail View Post
    No one does DD up here and no one knows much about it


    I would be interested in learning about DD though, can anyone recommend any good reading to learn more.
    Where's 'up here'?

    Just about everything you need to know will have been covered on on this forum

  13. #13
    Rob Holmes
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    It is quite easy really.

    Once your up to speed with it, which takes a year or two. I find it gets easier to do each year.
    Couldn't agree with you more Will

  14. #14
    Hartwig
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Once your up to speed with it, which takes a year or two. I find it gets easier to do each year.
    I do it properly since 4 years and have to admit that the first 2 years were easy as the weather was with me - the last 2 years were horrible and extremely expensive as the weather was totally against me with heaviest rains at harvest and autumn drilling !

    So, I don`t want to disagree with you, but it depends..... It`s just not a no-brainer and everybody who starts with that expectation will certainly fail at any stage or at least get into serious troubles as I did / I am.

  15. #15
    uigeadail
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by no-till-phil View Post
    Where's 'up here'?

    Just about everything you need to know will have been covered on on this forum
    north east scotland. The attitude in general is to plough anything and everything and then use a one pass. I'd like to see better soil health though so am interested in alternatives.

    Yes, the forum is interesting. I was just surprised people seemed against what seemed like an interesting if harmless article.

  16. #16
    texas pete
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by uigeadail View Post
    north east scotland. The attitude in general is to plough anything and everything and then use a one pass. I'd like to see better soil health though so am interested in alternatives.

    Yes, the forum is interesting. I was just surprised people seemed against what seemed like an interesting if harmless article.
    Probably more to do with the fact that money taken by way of compulsory levy produces what you accurately describe as a 'harmless' article.

  17. #17
    kpa
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by texas pete View Post
    Probably more to do with the fact that money taken by way of compulsory levy produces what you accurately describe as a 'harmless' article.
    Not sure it is harmless. They claim it is peer reviewed. Do we get to see those reviews? Maybe if you pay or a request under the FoI
    It mostly seems to be a collection of opinions unsupported by verifiable research, a statement that DD is "Unsuited to incorporation of solid animal manures" surely begs the question whether there is a proven need for incorporation? Is research available to compare incorporation with none?

  18. #18
    Badshot
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    For those of you who are already well on the way DD'ing it probably isn't the best article, however for those of us contemplating DD it does give some information which can be looked into further. I would like to think I have already got further than that document goes but still found it an OK read all the same.

    Phil I think you should send them a picture of your wheat, you are right the one on the first page is dire by any standard.:lolk:

    KPA I would agree that some animal manures are fine on the surface for the worms to deal with, and indeed it is probably the best thing to do with it but some of that chicken muck and pig muck definitely needs covering up to avoid run ins with the environmental health. My neighbour found that out to his cost a few years ago.:cry:

  19. #19
    kpa
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Badshot View Post
    ...KPA I would agree that some animal manures are fine on the surface for the worms to deal with, and indeed it is probably the best thing to do with it but some of that chicken muck and pig muck definitely needs covering up to avoid run ins with the environmental health. My neighbour found that out to his cost a few years ago.:cry:
    The same thought occurred to me, but is that an agricultural reason? Even from the EH point of view the carbon footprint must be worse, you don't incorporate without using more power/fuel plus more weeds growing etc. afterwards.

  20. #20
    Badshot
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by kpa View Post
    The same thought occurred to me, but is that an agricultural reason? Even from the EH point of view the carbon footprint must be worse, you don't incorporate without using more power/fuel plus more weeds growing etc. afterwards.
    From a purely agricultural point of view it would all be better on top, as long as the chicken muck doesn't get washed into a slot with the seed as it burns the seedlings roots off, but that's not the world we live in now. Unfortunately farmers don't have any rights in the eyes of officialdom, it is all in the favour of the public, whether they are living near or just passing through on foot/horseback. If something we do affects their enjoyment on the countryside then we are in the wrong it seems. I don't agree with this at all but it is how I am finding it to be these days.

  21. #21
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by kpa View Post
    Not sure it is harmless. They claim it is peer reviewed. Do we get to see those reviews? Maybe if you pay or a request under the FoI
    It mostly seems to be a collection of opinions unsupported by verifiable research, a statement that DD is "Unsuited to incorporation of solid animal manures" surely begs the question whether there is a proven need for incorporation? Is research available to compare incorporation with none?
    A thought provoking response KPA. I hadn't thought of it that way.

    I should think it wouldn't be too hard to get a copy of the basis of the article from Soil and Tillage Review - I'll see if I can get the whole transcript as I do remember reading it and steam came out of my ears a little bit as they had not appeared to talk to any farmers doing direct drilling in the UK who were consistently successful (ie at least 5 years plus).

    BUT it is a start and I suppose given the bias and presumption that direct drilling is viewed as a shortcut or not a "proper job" it is better to have produced the leaflet it than not producec it.

    Also can a big old supertanker of an organisation really get it right anyway? I genuinely think tools like the internet has changed or ought to change) the dynamic of getting info and even our style of research nowadays.

  22. #22
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartwig View Post
    I do it properly since 4 years and have to admit that the first 2 years were easy as the weather was with me - the last 2 years were horrible and extremely expensive as the weather was totally against me with heaviest rains at harvest and autumn drilling !

    So, I don`t want to disagree with you, but it depends..... It`s just not a no-brainer and everybody who starts with that expectation will certainly fail at any stage or at least get into serious troubles as I did / I am.
    The learning/ theory/ brain transplant curve seems to take two years.

    The weather? Well that can be as cruel as an system any time I'd say. The thing that often sticks in my head is Simon Chiles saying "tillage is like a hamster on a wheel the trick is knowing when to get off" and there is a lot of wisdom in that - if I was really keen to go direct drilling from new the first thing I would do is befriend someone who is experienced and willing to either turn up as a friend or a paid consultant who does it to give you the knowledge head start.

  23. #23
    Hartwig
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    The learning/ theory/ brain transplant curve seems to take two years.
    I disagree with that statement !

    From my point of view now I would rather go with Rolf Derpsch who says it may take 15 to 20 years until the soil has reached an stable level in no-till and I add here that it may take that long to reach the same level in experience, management and knowledge !!

    You`re right that the weather affects any system, but any tillage system is much more forgiving to mistakes, at least you can sweep away them with the next cultivation and push the reset-button, which you can`t that easy in no-till, so you stick much longer with your mistakes / failures from poor conditions/weather and wrong decisions !!

    What I mean is, if you multiply you different crops in the rotation / growing situation with different harvest- and drilling-conditions (dates etc.) due to weather impact, maybe also different cover-crops or weed-handling situations, then you get a matrix that will take many many years to run throug and make the most important experiences that you can be faced with on your farm in your situation !
    ..... I don`t want to make a sophisticated science here from a very down-to-earth thing like sticking a seed in the soil and make it grow a healthy plant, what no-till simply is, but just saying "2 years of learning and off you are" is too simple and dangerous for newcomers to expect I think !?

  24. #24
    peterraugland
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    I do agree with you Hartwig.

    Beeing a Notil farmer is as complex as beeing an professor of political science AND an politician at the same time. You have to understand, analyse AND execute at once. Notill farming is the femenin approach to it. And that I think is the reason why some farmers shy away from no-til, classic-tillage is more a "mans way!"; a masculine, executing way of farming. Where as the ideal is: you will "go in when you shouldnt, and then make the best of it..."

    Notill means you have to understand your soil and actually give a crap about the soil and its nature. Its more a marathon than a sprint, where as you are in for the long run. And thats hard, when each year is a sprint...

    Notill is the future, if this climate dont change to much for the worse. Challange beeing Nitrogen resources. In 10-20 years we will be farming much like we did 50 years ago.

  25. #25
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    They are hardly going to advocate an approach which actively aims to massively reduce machinery use, fuel use and chemical or fert use, are they?

    What next, an organic farming initiative headed up by Monsanto?

  26. #26
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
    They are hardly going to advocate an approach which actively aims to massively reduce machinery use, fuel use and chemical or fert use, are they?

    What next, an organic farming initiative headed up by Monsanto?
    I'm not so sure. Plenty of no till stuff is sponsored by chemical companies around the world. To be honest in a way I don't mind what they do as I think I can get a lot of the information I need from other farmers, abroad and personal background reading.

    But I do think that a levy board should in principle be attempting to lead new ideas if they have potential and the substantial compulsorily levy collected that the HGCA have surely merits a good push simply because of the environmental and cost pressure boxes DD can tick.

  27. #27
    yellow belly
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartwig View Post
    I disagree with that statement !

    From my point of view now I would rather go with Rolf Derpsch who says it may take 15 to 20 years until the soil has reached an stable level in no-till and I add here that it may take that long to reach the same level in experience, management and knowledge !!

    You`re right that the weather affects any system, but any tillage system is much more forgiving to mistakes, at least you can sweep away them with the next cultivation and push the reset-button, which you can`t that easy in no-till, so you stick much longer with your mistakes / failures from poor conditions/weather and wrong decisions !!

    What I mean is, if you multiply you different crops in the rotation / growing situation with different harvest- and drilling-conditions (dates etc.) due to weather impact, maybe also different cover-crops or weed-handling situations, then you get a matrix that will take many many years to run throug and make the most important experiences that you can be faced with on your farm in your situation !
    ..... I don`t want to make a sophisticated science here from a very down-to-earth thing like sticking a seed in the soil and make it grow a healthy plant, what no-till simply is, but just saying "2 years of learning and off you are" is too simple and dangerous for newcomers to expect I think !?
    i can totally see yor point

    for example this spring when planting beans the ground was not quite dry enough(headlands ) but i still planted

    to have waited would mean palnting in 2 weeks time or later due to last weeks rain

    imho the key to dd is timing but the problem in th uk is that some times waiting a week would be better if it stays dry for the week but if you wait it rains and then you have to wait a month or more
    this can happen in the autumn

  28. #28
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow belly View Post
    i can totally see yor point

    for example this spring when planting beans the ground was not quite dry enough(headlands ) but i still planted

    to have waited would mean palnting in 2 weeks time or later due to last weeks rain

    imho the key to dd is timing but the problem in th uk is that some times waiting a week would be better if it stays dry for the week but if you wait it rains and then you have to wait a month or more
    this can happen in the autumn

    Now I don't really agree. Sure if its too wet its too wet regardless of system, but I find I can get on the ground earlier with DD as well if I need to.

    Firstly do you guys think you have the right drill for the job?

    Remember wet soils are not a problem for the seed but they are for the equipment, so are you doing everything possible to ensure that it is not equipment that is the achilles heel rather than the soil itself.

    Google No Till in the Mud by Dwayne Beck. It sounds like Spring Beans are the bugbear in this case - can they be frost seeded even?

    But I'll go back to my old standby about the importance of depth, seed covering and seeding coulter being separate operations which gives you three chances to fiddle about with things in tricky conditions.

  29. #29
    Hartwig
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow belly View Post
    imho the key to dd is timing but the problem in th uk is that some times waiting a week would be better if it stays dry for the week but if you wait it rains and then you have to wait a month or more
    this can happen in the autumn
    Yep, as rule of thumb says, DDing 2 weeks later in spring and 2 weeks earlier in autumn compared to regional tillage standard !! That means in my opinion that a bit too wet drilling makes less problems when it`s done later in spring or earlier in autumn - so the worst you can do is DDing early and wet in spring or late and wet in autumn. That means patience is a virtue in spring as soils become drier usually but go for it in autumn, even if it may be a bit damp.


    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Google No Till in the Mud by Dwayne Beck. It sounds like Spring Beans are the bugbear in this case - can they be frost seeded even?
    I`ve done it twice and really can`t recommend it !! Wait another 2 month until soils have dried and warmed up a bit more and you will have 2 days delayed harvest from later drilling but much more vigour seedlings and more yield from my experience.

  30. #30
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: HGCA and DD

    I`ve done it twice and really can`t recommend it !! Wait another 2 month until soils have dried and warmed up a bit more and you will have 2 days delayed harvest from later drilling but much more vigour seedlings and more yield from my experience.[/QUOTE]


    hartwig...

    1) after these 2 tough years how comitted are you to remaining no till?

    2) how late have you planted spring beans and spring cereals, and how late do you think you could push these dates under notill without yield loss?

    thanks

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