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Thread: Autocasting cover crops

  1. #1
    Andrew Kerr
    Guest

    Autocasting cover crops

    Have been thinking about the best way to establish cover crops for a spring bean or cereal crop after winter wheat.
    At the moment i am thinking mustard put on with an autocast whilst combining would be cheap and simple,any other ways/cover crops i should think about?

  2. #2
    Andrew Kerr
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Hi Lee,

    Was thinking the autocast would put the mustard under the mulch better than a fert spinner possibly, but have also considered using my Mini Fan Jet on front of tractor with 8.2m rolls towed behind to crimp in the mustard.?

    I presume Mustard needs similar depth to rape seeding wise.

  3. #3
    Pedders
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    in my experience mustard on its own grows fast but ends up very stalky and not as much biomass as other cover crops ...its much better than nothing but I do think the cover crop cocktails do a whole lot more .we're really trying to harvest as much sunlight for as long as possible through the growing season and for that you need a diversity of species in the mix IMO ... and for them to get established well you really need to drill them ...you could possibly put it through a spreader then cultivate after but I think the results would be more variable than if drilled
    unfortunately there is no short cut to establishment ..it needs to go in early and well if they're going to have any chance..
    having said that you should see the cultivation cost of the drilling back in the next crop through improved friability much like an autumn disking

  4. #4
    henery
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Plant ours with Vad drill direct, use front discs to create a little tilth. Have been using Oats and osr, produces good ground cover and biomass, poss need some N to enhance the biomass.
    Recent discussion suggests some peas or s beans would fix a reasonable amount of N into the bargain.
    Not simple for large farmers with a huge amount of work to do, cover crops are an investment in soil, to work well, money needs to be spent.....farm them with the outcome you want in mind.
    Is that, biomass, N, sheep keep, weed control etc etc......ther is going to be a heck of a lot of this done in the near future, it's great for soil.

  5. #5
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Don't think you could spin mustard on as it's very light ??

    Works well terracast off solo and then rolled in just as if it was a rape crop

    The field is then cultivated and ready for the drill when you want to stick your crop in, we have had got results so far and drill at 7kg/ ha

    Following crops on light land are remarkably better

    Why not drill it with your mzuri Andrew ? I think if a cover crop is worth putting in its worth giving it a fair chance and not just hoping it establishes

  6. #6
    pylon dodger
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    If you have a straw rake could you put the autocast on that ? putting seed in frount of the rake to harrow in.

    I have thought about doing this with osr if conditions suit or should I say don't suit anything else.

  7. #7
    Andrew Kerr
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Yes, using the rake would help with seed cover and also even out the straw mat a bit, good idea!

  8. #8
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    I've seen the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aavCWJ6Dw5c) of the Mzuri going straight into standing mustard with no obvious problems. However, say the mustard established very well developing thick and fibrous stems, which were then not killed by the frost over winter, alongside other weed growth; even if you then dessicate pre-drilling are you confident that the drill will handle the residue? What would your back up be?

    Our barley stubbles this year had quite a lot of green growth after harvest which was not sprayed off until the middle of September. By the time we came to drill beans at the beginning of October the quondam cover was reasonably brittle. The SR still blocked up like mad though in some patches. The thought of drilling into a thick cover crop containing species like vetch and rye with a tined drill does not stir much enthusiasm.

  9. #9
    Andrew Kerr
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    I think the drill will cope with alot of trash, as i was down at Martin Loles farm this week looking at crops.
    Martin had drilled some spring wheat straight through some standing maize, the wheat looked fine. I wouldnt even have considered doing that with most drills i have used.

    The drills looked good too...

  10. #10
    Martin Lole
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Kerr View Post
    I think the drill will cope with alot of trash, as i was down at Martin Loles farm this week looking at crops.
    Martin had drilled some spring wheat straight through some standing maize, the wheat looked fine. I wouldnt even have considered doing that with most drills i have used.

    The drills looked good too...
    It was good to see you this week Andrew - thank you for your time.

    Below is a photo of the machine drilling spring wheat into last years maize game cover crop.

    The front row of the staggered wheels run along side the rear row of staggered breaker tines, pulls the trash through the machine as they move forward.

    Drilling into standing crops doesn't appear to cause a problem.

  11. #11
    Shutesy
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Lole View Post
    It was good to see you this week Andrew - thank you for your time.

    Below is a photo of the machine drilling spring wheat into last years maize game cover crop.

    The front row of the staggered wheels run along side the rear row of staggered breaker tines, pulls the trash through the machine as they move forward.

    Drilling into standing crops doesn't appear to cause a problem.
    Martin, How far out of the ground can u lift the front breaker tines? Assume for quickly putting something in like a Pedders mix in the summer after harvest you could run with the legs out a bit for minimal disturbance and and then drop them in when drilling the spring crop if required?
    Also do you ever roll behind the Mzuri, or do the pneumatic press wheels do the job for you?

  12. #12
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Martin / Andrew, would you think the Mzuri would cope with drilling (rape) into a decent wheat crop harvested with a stripper header?

  13. #13
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    Martin / Andrew, would you think the Mzuri would cope with drilling (rape) into a decent wheat crop harvested with a stripper header?
    looking at it working in that maize crop I would guess it should

    would be interesting to try if I keep our stripper header this year but I'm undecided on that just now

  14. #14
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    I keep thinking back to that picture (http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=39492) posted a while back by B'o'B. If you could use this technique with stripped stubble I could imagine it helping the trash flow considerably. It's a nice thought but consistent practical implementation over a large area in variable conditions might be tricky.

  15. #15
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    I keep thinking back to that picture (http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=39492) posted a while back by B'o'B. If you could use this technique with stripped stubble I could imagine it helping the trash flow considerably. It's a nice thought but consistent practical implementation over a large area in variable conditions might be tricky.
    interesting ! RTK and strip till seem like natural partners but is it really necessary if the drill can cope with trash ?

    I guess there are still advantages to putting this years seed next to rather than on top of last years roots ??

    anyone doing it at scale ??

  16. #16
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Obviously the drill would need to be able to cope even if it wasn't working between the rows as achieving this at all times (e.g. on headlands with flattened straw) is clearly impossible. My thoughts were simply that it would make a better job for the reasons given by B'o'B.

    However, here is someone who believes the opposite to be true (his/her reasons are given in the video description):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tswJjyf2WJI.

    I would be interested to hear opinions on whether the new seed is better sown near or close to the roots of the old crop. Shows what is possible though.

  17. #17
    Martin Lole
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Shutesy View Post
    Martin, How far out of the ground can u lift the front breaker tines? Assume for quickly putting something in like a Pedders mix in the summer after harvest you could run with the legs out a bit for minimal disturbance and and then drop them in when drilling the spring crop if required?
    Also do you ever roll behind the Mzuri, or do the pneumatic press wheels do the job for you?
    Hello Shutesy

    Yes the depth of front breaker legs are easily adjusted by the amount of ram stops. Also if required you can raise the breaker legs while on the move from full depth to above the ground without effecting the seed coulters. Therefore it is very easy to set the breaker tines cultivating shallow and have the coulters operating deeper than the front legs if required.

    Do I ever roll? Yes, I have a Twose roll c/w paddles; after drilling OSR into a lot of wheat straw I do not roll for fear of burying the seed. After drilling WW I have not notice any benefit, the risk of rolling in the autumn is to spoil a very weather proof seed bed.

    Photo below is of my spring beans drilled the end of March. The front breaker tines set shallow, drill coulters at 4", rolled the following day with the paddles set aggressively. This was to comply with my Agronomist's request to ensure best results from the pre-em herbicide.
    Even germination across the field and so far weed control looks good, the charlock seedlings are turning purple.

  18. #18
    Andrew Kerr
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    Martin / Andrew, would you think the Mzuri would cope with drilling (rape) into a decent wheat crop harvested with a stripper header?

    Dont see why not, but i wouldnt want it too wet ideally?

    If it were troublesome you could run a front press or topper on the drilling tractor maybe at the same time.

  19. #19
    Andrew Kerr
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Lole View Post
    Hello Shutesy

    Yes the depth of front breaker legs are easily adjusted by the amount of ram stops. Also if required you can raise the breaker legs while on the move from full depth to above the ground without effecting the seed coulters. Therefore it is very easy to set the breaker tines cultivating shallow and have the coulters operating deeper than the front legs if required.

    Do I ever roll? Yes, I have a Twose roll c/w paddles; after drilling OSR into a lot of wheat straw I do not roll for fear of burying the seed. After drilling WW I have not notice any benefit, the risk of rolling in the autumn is to spoil a very weather proof seed bed.

    Photo below is of my spring beans drilled the end of March. The front breaker tines set shallow, drill coulters at 4", rolled the following day with the paddles set aggressively. This was to comply with my Agronomist's request to ensure best results from the pre-em herbicide.
    Even germination across the field and so far weed control looks good, the charlock seedlings are turning purple.
    Hi Martin,

    Which pre em herbicide did you use ?

  20. #20
    Shutesy
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Lole View Post
    Hello Shutesy

    Yes the depth of front breaker legs are easily adjusted by the amount of ram stops. Also if required you can raise the breaker legs while on the move from full depth to above the ground without effecting the seed coulters. Therefore it is very easy to set the breaker tines cultivating shallow and have the coulters operating deeper than the front legs if required.

    Do I ever roll? Yes, I have a Twose roll c/w paddles; after drilling OSR into a lot of wheat straw I do not roll for fear of burying the seed. After drilling WW I have not notice any benefit, the risk of rolling in the autumn is to spoil a very weather proof seed bed.

    Photo below is of my spring beans drilled the end of March. The front breaker tines set shallow, drill coulters at 4", rolled the following day with the paddles set aggressively. This was to comply with my Agronomist's request to ensure best results from the pre-em herbicide.
    Even germination across the field and so far weed control looks good, the charlock seedlings are turning purple.
    Thanks for the reply Martin, some food for thought there. I do like your drill and the establishment system as a whole and have yet to see a bad crop drilled with it. Will keep following its progress with great interest.

  21. #21
    Dalers
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    I have been thinking about cover crops, but I'm not DDing yet.
    How would Mustard work if I could spread seed with a old 12m MoCap/Avadex pneumatic spreader then cambridge roll with the breaker paddles just touching the ground,also will ploughing down this much stuff make a poor/hollow rooting zone.

    I have Cauli Flower in the rotation and I nervous of Club root would planting Phacelia work (bit expensive I know) or any other low seed rate options.

    Or do cover crops only really work well when the Trash is still on the surface.

    This is for ground going into Spring Barley.

    Thanks Dalers

  22. #22
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalers View Post
    I have been thinking about cover crops, but I'm not DDing yet.
    How would Mustard work if I could spread seed with a old 12m MoCap/Avadex pneumatic spreader then cambridge roll with the breaker paddles just touching the ground,also will ploughing down this much stuff make a poor/hollow rooting zone.

    I have Cauli Flower in the rotation and I nervous of Club root would planting Phacelia work (bit expensive I know) or any other low seed rate options.

    Or do cover crops only really work well when the Trash is still on the surface.

    This is for ground going into Spring Barley.

    Thanks Dalers
    I'd go good old ryegrass if I were you for your set up. Not that its cheap anymore.

  23. #23
    yellow belly
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    i auto cast mustard on some setaside on 14 august it was in 3 ft high and in flower by november the frost killed it
    many people passing by mistook it for rape in flower

  24. #24
    Dalers
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Not keen on Ryegrass as I still have some coming up every year, I planted it as a catch crop before maize 12 years ago.

    What about fodder Radish will the root break up the soil more and pull up N from deeper.

  25. #25
    Pedders
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    I would use some Pedders style mix
    oats vetch linseed buckwheat sunflowers fodder radish peas etc

    if you can get some sheep or cattle to graze the tops off too without leaving them on there too long then even better

    Attachment 34093

  26. #26
    Dalers
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    What sort of seed rate/ cost are we talking about, it would need drilling too and in my system that means min till then PH Combi so not cheap.

  27. #27
    Pedders
    Guest

    Re: Autocasting cover crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalers View Post
    What sort of seed rate/ cost are we talking about, it would need drilling too and in my system that means min till then PH Combi so not cheap.
    seed rate 40-50 Kg Ha cost 55p Kg
    maybe a good time to invest in a cheap no till drill something like a moore ?

    or else spread with the 12 m spreader then min till and roll
    or min till then spread and roll ?

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