Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 74

Thread: Should I jump on board?

  1. #1
    Johndeere
    Guest

    Should I jump on board?

    We have gone from ploughing/combi drill everything ten years ago, to now sumo trioing/sprinter everything. So I feel the next step is to try direct drilling to cut our costs even further. Going to try a bit this autumn by hiring an SR drill from claydons to drill a quarter of the farm roughly 300 acres. Will I get hooked or stay in my comfort zone? With rising fuel costs is the future of crop establishment going to be direct drilling?

  2. #2
    agricontract
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    We took the plunge last year from are one past spaders with accord drills (our form of min till
    though cheaper than trioing )
    And got a Moore drill this year we have got a claydon to run along side Moore on the heavier land this year
    I think once diesel and wages are payed for the money is gone never to be seen again but if you buy a drill it still has a value one day and every pound saved is worth 10 earnt
    Your soil should be in good order so I think it will be easy for you
    Good luck

  3. #3
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    I think it has to be the future - I know prices are good but costs are getting steep - diesel, tractors etc. none of these are going to come down much and also you can't control the price of things but you can work on the costs.

    You will probably have to change your outlook a little and phase yourself into it - don't go all in at once and do pick the easiest fields - I usually think Wheat after Rape is probably the easiest.

    Tread carefully or you'll end up like Lee who blames the Claydon drill for everything that is wrong when really it is about different management techniques. :lolk:

    And grassweeds are not likely to be any worse, in fact maybe better.

    Have fun and be aware you will make some cock ups - everyone does.

  4. #4
    155tm
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    I don't think the Claydon is a big enough step further down the direct drilling route than a Horsch Sprinter. (put on tin hat)

    If you read Will's Nuffield he explains why he champions a disc drill for direct drilling, less soil movement etc, and the potential benefits of cover crops. (I am beginning to come around to your way of thinking Will, just not sure how to put it into practice!!!)

    There has not been enough mainstream research done into direct drilling and cover crops in the UK, it will be pioneering farmers who dip their toe in the water who will tentatively lead the potential shift towards DD.

  5. #5
    Elmsted
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Whilst no longer a regular poster on this topic. I still maintain the view that in places such as I am lucky enough to farm, and have traffic problems due to horses and carts DD is an option in certain circumstances. While a brief perusal o the DD thread will show my preference of disc based systems.
    It is manifestly clear that many " Jump on board" view no till or direct drill as a way of reducing costs. We all compete in a global market whereby cost per tonne of production is a paramount importance. Such that high cost producers view DD as a salvation many also view it as a tool to ensure their continuous company growth.
    Maybe much to the Shagran of many here jumping on board is not a lifestyle changing event. It is merely part of the transition between yeild is king to cost per tonne.

  6. #6
    peterraugland
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Lee:

    How important is the time between a pass of min-till and the drilling? Do you need a space between?

    If not. This is for you: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...9623964&type=1

    option 1 = Horsch Focus TD. Fertelizer behind the deep-loosening tine. Tyre packer, then Disc-coulters.

    option 2 = Horsch Tiger with a Tiger Drill. I think you have said before the hopper is too small, so maybe option 1 is for you. You should be able to pull it with your cat.

  7. #7
    Elmsted
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    We are currently preparing to plant as Lee says a block of Maize of 200 hectares ( 500 acres ) following a drought in autumn 2011 which leaves us with an unviable lot of Autumn oilseed rape.
    That we use a no till drill to do this is the flexibility of management. The already failed crop and volenteers plus assorted weeds could I suppose be regarded as a cover crop. which all seem to believe roundup as a spring saviour. (Rapid change from vegatative to re-productive growth.)

    Whatever the fundamentals of the original poster it is not a train to ride upon ( Jump on board ) with delivered solutions from Horsch or Claydon or sumo et al it is simply choosing if you want to take from the toolbox an opended spanner a ring spanner a ratchet spanner or a torque multiplier.

    The current fad of linking No till to eco friendly farming is just that a fad which I trust will pass.
    There is space in most farm sheds for a plough and a Moore drill with pride of place being reserved for the latest fad.
    So please don't jump on board just dip your toes and see if you want to swim.

  8. #8
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by 155tm View Post
    I don't think the Claydon is a big enough step further down the direct drilling route than a Horsch Sprinter. (put on tin hat)

    If you read Will's Nuffield he explains why he champions a disc drill for direct drilling, less soil movement etc, and the potential benefits of cover crops. (I am beginning to come around to your way of thinking Will, just not sure how to put it into practice!!!)

    There has not been enough mainstream research done into direct drilling and cover crops in the UK, it will be pioneering farmers who dip their toe in the water who will tentatively lead the potential shift towards DD.
    I have some environmental ELS mixes which have not been touched for 3 years.
    Whilst im sure the soil is well structured and there are plenty of roots/ earthworms/ bugs/ slugs etc, im not convinced a seed would establish very well as the land is tight and hard- would hate to plough it now. This is my concern with continuous no till. I fear this years (no till) has only worked due to dry weather and previous tillage. So inclined to agree with elmsteads view. Part of me would like to be wrong.

  9. #9
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    I'm only winding you up Lee - I understand the reasons you are doing it.

    That said I do think you are a bit vociferous against the Claydon in particular and are slightly inclined to cherry pick some data. With respect

  10. #10
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmsted View Post
    Whilst no longer a regular poster on this topic. I still maintain the view that in places such as I am lucky enough to farm, and have traffic problems due to horses and carts DD is an option in certain circumstances. While a brief perusal o the DD thread will show my preference of disc based systems.
    It is manifestly clear that many " Jump on board" view no till or direct drill as a way of reducing costs. We all compete in a global market whereby cost per tonne of production is a paramount importance. Such that high cost producers view DD as a salvation many also view it as a tool to ensure their continuous company growth.
    Maybe much to the Shagran of many here jumping on board is not a lifestyle changing event. It is merely part of the transition between yeild is king to cost per tonne.
    Same old stuff as you've always said Elmsted. It has always been about lower costs and high yield, the "life style changing event" which you go on about simply means you may have to think slightly differently about rotations and think about the soil a bit more - hardly a cult is it?

  11. #11
    FarmerStan
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    I have some environmental ELS mixes which have not been touched for 3 years.
    Whilst im sure the soil is well structured and there are plenty of roots/ earthworms/ bugs/ slugs etc, im not convinced a seed would establish very well as the land is tight and hard- would hate to plough it now. This is my concern with continuous no till. I fear this years (no till) has only worked due to dry weather and previous tillage. So inclined to agree with elmsteads view. Part of me would like to be wrong.
    +1

    Couldn't agree with this post more!
    Obviously it all depends on soil types etc etc. But on my heavy clay land I simply can't see dding working because of the point above!

    We use our own system of min till.

    Pigtail after harvest to get some tilth / encourage weed volunteer growth
    Subsoil everything
    Roundup
    Drill with KRM Soladrill with front cultivator bar

    I know everybody has their own views, and different things work well on different farms - but that is my 2p's worth!

  12. #12
    Pedders
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    as someone just starting out down the path of zero till and seeing some problems already, its becoming apparent to me the transition needs to be very carefully thought through and managed ...disc based No till is not a fire and forget method of crop establishment in the way that plough/Combi or mintill is
    you need to be thinking a year in advance all the time
    ....I think that the claydon and Mzuni are more reliable and more forgiving ways of establishing crops in the first years whilst your ground adapts ..that said in your situation I would probably buy a new 4m 750a.. fit guttler wheels and convert 20-25% of the farm each year ..learning as you go what works and what doesn't ..if it doesnt quite work for you the 750a is still a very good min till drill anyway

  13. #13
    Kentish_Andy
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    I have some environmental ELS mixes which have not been touched for 3 years.
    Whilst im sure the soil is well structured and there are plenty of roots/ earthworms/ bugs/ slugs etc, im not convinced a seed would establish very well as the land is tight and hard- would hate to plough it now. This is my concern with continuous no till. I fear this years (no till) has only worked due to dry weather and previous tillage. So inclined to agree with elmsteads view. Part of me would like to be wrong.
    Is the ground firm or compacted? I always have this discussion with Dad, he walks into a field after a dry summer and the ground is hard and thinks it is compacted but when you get a spade out there is no problem. With some rain the ground becomes not so hard. There is a big difference between firm and compacted ground and no-till works fine in the former.

  14. #14
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kentish_Andy View Post
    Is the ground firm or compacted? I always have this discussion with Dad, he walks into a field after a dry summer and the ground is hard and thinks it is compacted but when you get a spade out there is no problem. With some rain the ground becomes not so hard. There is a big difference between firm and compacted ground and no-till works fine in the former.
    Its just firm, definately not compacted. Its full of perennial species which look like they would take some moving. Its perrenial weeds which worry me, as they seem to thrive with no soil movement, and you have to use stronger chemistry eg clorpyralid and that can severly compromise no till rotations. Unless fallow + glyph @ 4L ?

  15. #15
    Pedders
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    Its just firm, definately not compacted. Its full of perennial species which look like they would take some moving. Its perrenial weeds which worry me, as they seem to thrive with no soil movement, and you have to use stronger chemistry eg clorpyralid and that can severly compromise no till rotations. Unless fallow + glyph @ 4L ?
    roundup then DD a mix including brassicas esp radish .....direct drill straight in the following spring ..thats my plan on 15 year old ELS/HLS grass for this coming autumn

  16. #16
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    Its just firm, definately not compacted. Its full of perennial species which look like they would take some moving. Its perrenial weeds which worry me, as they seem to thrive with no soil movement, and you have to use stronger chemistry eg clorpyralid and that can severly compromise no till rotations. Unless fallow + glyph @ 4L ?
    What perennial weeds in particular? Nothing wrong with roundup at 4l/ha. I'd even go 5l/ha if needs be on some perennials. A lot of the time its about getting the chemical into the plant rather than rates - think wetters, stickers, AS etc. Depending on what your planting after you should be able to mop up most weeds in a Winter Wheat or Rape anyway?

    Would rather use roundup once a year at 4/ha than twice at 2/ha anyway - thats the road to resistance I think.

    I wonder if Elmsted thinks a tractor is a fad? Or how about a computer? - They've only been around 60 and 30 odd years after all, not long in the great scheme of things - next thing we'll be hearing about how he uses his horse to pull the plough and an abacus to do the wages.

  17. #17
    FarmerDan
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmsted View Post
    We all compete in a global market whereby cost per tonne of production is a paramount importance. Such that high cost producers view DD as a salvation many also view it as a tool to ensure their continuous company growth.
    Maybe much to the Shagran of many here jumping on board is not a lifestyle changing event. It is merely part of the transition between yeild is king to cost per tonne.
    Wrong.

    Cost per tonne of production is not the most important thing. Do the maths. Profit per hectare is the most important measure to the individual farmer. I don't give a damn what my cost per tonne is and see no point in calculating it.

    As long as my marginal cost of producing additional yield justifies additional inputs, I will do it as long as I'm not damaging my future earnings potential by damaging my most valuable resource... the soil. This is where direct drilling interests me - maximises both profit and soil sustainability (if done right... which isn't guaranteed obviously).

  18. #18
    Rob Holmes
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by 155tm View Post
    I don't think the Claydon is a big enough step further down the direct drilling route than a Horsch Sprinter. (put on tin hat)

    If you read Will's Nuffield he explains why he champions a disc drill for direct drilling, less soil movement etc, and the potential benefits of cover crops. (I am beginning to come around to your way of thinking Will, just not sure how to put it into practice!!!)

    There has not been enough mainstream research done into direct drilling and cover crops in the UK, it will be pioneering farmers who dip their toe in the water who will tentatively lead the potential shift towards DD.
    Some would think thats an advantage rather than jump into the deep end to DD

    The first 2 years we have been running the Claydon, we are delighted with the results

  19. #19
    Rob Holmes
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerStan View Post
    +1

    Couldn't agree with this post more!
    Obviously it all depends on soil types etc etc. But on my heavy clay land I simply can't see dding working because of the point above!

    We use our own system of min till.

    Pigtail after harvest to get some tilth / encourage weed volunteer growth
    Subsoil everything
    Roundup
    Drill with KRM Soladrill with front cultivator bar

    I know everybody has their own views, and different things work well on different farms - but that is my 2p's worth!
    In my experience, the Claydon drill makes a better seedbed in heavy clay than lighter ground, we have some really heavy ground, some of which is red clay. (field names Brickyard Wood and Brickyard Bank)
    This year particulally has shown that the Claydon evens out the germination, which we couldn't get from plough/combi drill

  20. #20
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Will,

    Your not winding me up at all because I know what I say is 100% correct for my situation. I have pictures, yield maps, soil maps but most importantly witness's to back up every single thing I have ever posted.

    The 'tree hugging' Direct Drill fraternity in the UK will never thrive because it's quite simply uneconomical and a farm would be out of business within months if they adopted it, unless of course they are 'hobby farming' (like some of the more vocal direct drillers we know about ).

    It's not a religion and it works on nice land but more difficultly on heavy land because it means a more major change to farm policy, that's all!
    Oh I dunno. The farm size is about average for Wales - 330 acres, so we must all be hobby farming here! I have diversified as well but for me the costs of expansion through farming is a bit expensive @ £150/acre+ rents for not very long deals so I'd rather reduce costs and do other stuff besides.

    That said I'm seeing a lot of savings from low drilling costs, herbicides, less usage of P, K and lime and for very little yield difference - what's not to like? I think there is a differential of about £100 acre at least when you take into account everything about structuring a farm around direct drilling.

    It does work on heavy land because we've had a few open days on them.

  21. #21
    peterraugland
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Lee:

    Sounds like you are on the ball with your current system. Id like to hear more about how your compost projects going. I want to do the same (though smaller scale) at my farm. Id like to know how you look at the financials about it.

    Anyway, here is an idea: (If you dont like its, its ok )

    What about subsoiling the lot, then CTF it at 12 m from here on? 12m Kelly chainharrow postharvest to chit, then air, sunshine, rain, time. Drill with a 12m seedhawk / 12m Airseeder, or better yet a 12 m fert spinner + chainharrow + light roll it in in the same run, spray pre-em or what you do.

    Were you not on 12m tramlines for the green-waste-compost-spreader? 36m sprayer. This would maybe compact your soils less. I remember you wrote something about your yields were the same now as with your grand-dads Fert-spinner.

    Søren Ilsøe posted some result from a test on his webpage, you should check it out (might not be entirely comparable to your soil, but it gives an idea.) http://www.ilsoe.info/31maj200.htm

    pic 1 = plough + power harrow
    pic 2 = harrow + fert spreader
    pic 3 = Lemken
    pic 4 = 750a
    pic 5 = horsch airseeder

  22. #22
    pig fighter
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    but for me the costs of expansion through farming is a bit expensive @ £150/acre+ rents for not very long deals so I'd rather reduce costs and do other stuff besides.

    I think there is a differential of about £100 acre at least when you take into account everything about structuring a farm around direct drilling.

    .
    The irony is that classic and conventional till farmers are driving these rental values whilst DD tillage , despite a supposed £100 per acre advantage, are unwilling to compete. For some it will be a personal decision but surely not for them all....are there any of the DDrs on the Forum able to say the system is working so well that they have been able to bomb classic tillers out of the water on a rent tender?

  23. #23
    benferg
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterraugland View Post

    Søren Ilsøe posted some result from a test on his webpage, you should check it out (might not be entirely comparable to your soil, but it gives an idea.) http://www.ilsoe.info/31maj200.htm

    pic 1 = plough + power harrow
    pic 2 = harrow + fert spreader
    pic 3 = Lemken
    pic 4 = 750a
    pic 5 = horsch airseeder
    In these treatments I'm asuming they were all ploughed & worked down or was the JD straight into the old stubble, same as the horsch?

  24. #24
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by pig fighter View Post
    The irony is that classic and conventional till farmers are driving these rental values whilst DD tillage , despite a supposed £100 per acre advantage, are unwilling to compete. For some it will be a personal decision but surely not for them all....are there any of the DDrs on the Forum able to say the system is working so well that they have been able to bomb classic tillers out of the water on a rent tender?
    Many growers taking on acres round here freely admit values are more driven by egos than rational financial planning. Every farm varies of course, but 'tree hug dd' suits smaller units cos of attention to detail.

  25. #25
    Badshot
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Holmes View Post
    In my experience, the Claydon drill makes a better seedbed in heavy clay than lighter ground, we have some really heavy ground, some of which is red clay. (field names Brickyard Wood and Brickyard Bank)
    This year particulally has shown that the Claydon evens out the germination, which we couldn't get from plough/combi drill
    That wouldn't by chance be the same brick yard that sumo tested their dts in would it?

  26. #26
    Kentish_Andy
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by pig fighter View Post
    The irony is that classic and conventional till farmers are driving these rental values whilst DD tillage , despite a supposed £100 per acre advantage, are unwilling to compete. For some it will be a personal decision but surely not for them all....are there any of the DDrs on the Forum able to say the system is working so well that they have been able to bomb classic tillers out of the water on a rent tender?
    Maybe DDers are stupid enough to pay £200 an acre without SFP!! No, my serious answer is PF that the type of savings Will is talking about does not happen straight away, maybe it will be upto ten years to achieve this amount of savings. So if you are bidding for a 3-5 year FBT you are not going to be hugely better off than other farmers. Also I heard recently that the agents sorting out the tenancy for a large farm around here will throw your application straight in the bin if you mention DD, just shows they dont know what they are talking about!!

  27. #27
    pig fighter
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    [QUOTE=Kentish_Andy;896608]No, my serious answer is PF that the type of savings Will is talking about does not happen straight away, maybe it will be upto ten years to achieve this amount of savings. So if you are bidding for a 3-5 year FBT you are not going to be hugely better off than other farmers. QUOTE]

    Yeah I thought along these lines myself after I asked the question. The trend to short terms for rented land is creating problems for all sorts of enterprises, not just DD, in what is essentially a long term business i.e farming.
    But the point you make reminds us all of the potential pain barrier we must go through when thinking DD....

  28. #28
    Sumo
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Badshot View Post
    That wouldn't by chance be the same brick yard that sumo tested their dts in would it?

    No, there's quite a distance between the two

  29. #29
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by pig fighter View Post
    Yeah I thought along these lines myself after I asked the question. The trend to short terms for rented land is creating problems for all sorts of enterprises, not just DD, in what is essentially a long term business i.e farming.
    But the point you make reminds us all of the potential pain barrier we must go through when thinking DD....
    But then the flipside is if land is tied up in old AHA tenancies there is the other argument that people (landowners even) can't get hold of their own land because its tied up for generations.

    So nothings easy, never will be.

    Pain Barrier? - just subsoil or trio for three years and then phase it in around the farm. Simplest way.

  30. #30
    pylon dodger
    Guest

    Re: Should I jump on board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Holmes View Post
    In my experience, the Claydon drill makes a better seedbed in heavy clay than lighter ground, we have some really heavy ground, some of which is red clay. (field names Brickyard Wood and Brickyard Bank)
    This year particulally has shown that the Claydon evens out the germination, which we couldn't get from plough/combi drill


    Thats what we are finding to rob. we have some real mans land and its looking the best i've ever seen it .

    I'll try to get some pics up soon this is strong wet cold land that in a wet time will easy stand in water

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •