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Thread: FW articles on zero-till

  1. #1
    martian
    Guest

    FW articles on zero-till

    Is it just me, or was there a slightly 'glass half-empty' feel about the FW attitude to no-till? (10 page spread this week).

    Admittedly the faces don't look quite so tortured as Jim in the FG...

  2. #2
    Jim Bullock
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by martian View Post
    Is it just me, or was there a slightly 'glass half-empty' feel about the FW attitude to no-till? (10 page spread this week).

    Admittedly the faces don't look quite so tortured as Jim in the FG...
    Just wait for the "harrow section" next week...

  3. #3
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    The entire yellow peril is as depressing as sin, not just bits on zero tillage. How anyone reads it without coming close to topping themselves each week is a mystery to me.

  4. #4
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Haven't seen it yet in mag only on web but I think magazines are in a tricky place at the moment.

    I guess fundamentally the FW wants to be seen to provide "balance" - there was a request to find someone who used to direct drill and went back to ploughing/ tillage in the interests of providing another point of view. I had no interest in trying to find someone like that personally because I'd rather speak and go see someone who has made it work than someone who hasn't. But I recognise in part that a magazine wants to be seen as fair minded to all sides.

    That said 10 pages as a regular DD fixture helps bring the technique out of the woods and into the mainstream a little bit more and could lead to the Ostrich heads in the sand behemoths of the HGCA and EA (the former with a bucketload of compulsory levy money) to become a little more interested in a generations time.

  5. #5
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    By the way this is on their forum.

    http://www.fwi.co.uk/community/forum...ing-72744.aspx

    I don't mind if you think I'm wrong/disagree with me by the way on some things, but it may be of interest for someone.

    BTW my interest is mainly in promoting the technique for its own sake because I still see massive and developing potential for it

  6. #6
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by martian View Post
    Is it just me, or was there a slightly 'glass half-empty' feel about the FW attitude to no-till? (10 page spread this week).

    Admittedly the faces don't look quite so tortured as Jim in the FG...

    its a trade magazine......and true zero till is about reducing inputs?

  7. #7
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    its a trade magazine......and true zero till is about reducing inputs?
    Yeah but - its about reducing some inputs and spending in other areas as well. Money will always be spent in some form.

  8. #8
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    I wonder how far DD can take us, could we see eventual massive reductions in P and K needed?

  9. #9
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Yeah but - its about reducing some inputs and spending in other areas as well. Money will always be spent in some form.

    but these are generally investments for future value and not silver bullets?

  10. #10
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    http://sl.farmonline.com.au/news/sta...px?storypage=1

    and in particular:

    "Roberto Peiretti, who spoke at the recent Victorian No-Till Farming Association (VNTFA) conference, said it went against agriculture’s long history to do away with tillage, but it was clear it was what needs to happen.

    “We have been tilling for 10,000 years, we’ve only begun to understand the principles of no-till in the past 30 years.”

    However, he said the advances made at home in Argentina as a result of embracing zero-till principles had convinced him no-till would be a crucial component of producing enough food to feed the world.

    “There’s going to be 10 billion people on earth by 2050, so the pressure is on farmers to provide extra food.”


    Though I don't think I think Western Europe will have the same yield benefits as more brittle parts of the world.

  11. #11
    Tomsewell
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
    I wonder how far DD can take us, could we see eventual massive reductions in P and K needed?
    No P or K here for at least 15 years, indices being maintained by Plumbos crew and solstice not far off 10t/ha here today (and dry) also haven't used lime in ages!!

    All straw goes back in, bio-mulch before OSR and some compost for first year this year.

    Been very shallow min tilled, looking seriously at DD but which drill?

  12. #12
    Dockers
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Hi Martian, totally agree. Tony, as good as he is, is a bit old hat now. Readers must think he is the only DDer in the country. Needs new younger face for DD, perhaps you !! or someone like Stuart at West Woodhay, young man inovating etc. ( Seedling of Tony,s )
    Sorry Jim your face to old and famous too !!!
    Also agree that FW is now very dull.

  13. #13
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsewell View Post
    No P or K here for at least 15 years, indices being maintained by Plumbos crew and solstice not far off 10t/ha here today (and dry) also haven't used lime in ages!!

    All straw goes back in, bio-mulch before OSR and some compost for first year this year.

    Been very shallow min tilled, looking seriously at DD but which drill?
    With very shallow min-till, I assme you mean Vaddy carrier type kit?

    Have you taken any recent soil analyses to determine pH etc?

  14. #14
    Tomsewell
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Hi Mayo

    Sorry for the delay just got in! We've used a 5m He-va disc roller at about 2 inch then a Horsch CO4 with duet coulters. Some years when it's dry and hard the discs don't seem to do a lot but have managed to chit the volunteers and get a stale seedbed. We have bought a Claydon Straw Harrow which should do a similar job but be faster and even shallower and cost less to operate.

    We tried direct drilling some winter linseed last September with the Horsch and couldn't see any difference to the above establishment system on the rest!

    Yesterday and today we have been drilling rape straight into wheat stubble with the Horsch and it seems to be doing a good job, can't really see how it's that much different to a Claydon system ( tin hat on!!)

    As for soils we use independent soil fertility otherwise known as Robert Plumb and George Hepburn (field advisor) we pay a consultancy fee on an acreage basis and all fields are tested every 3 years. They also test leaf tissue and give advice on what products to use and which to avoid. I probably see George 5 or 6 times a year on farm and if we ever get any dodgy results we re-test. Soil P and K levels are being maintained as is pH.

    At this time of the year we see George every month or so and he regularly takes samples and also checks for any areas we feel need specific attention.

    We will apply Bio-mulch at 40L/Ha before rape/onto seedbed mixed with water through the sprayer which helps straw backdown and feed the bugs and bacteria in the soil.

    As far as I'm concerned it works and I'm convinced we all cultivate far more than necessary. Having visited Simon Chiles a couple of months back made me question why we need more than a JD 750a and a set of Cambridge rolls to establish all our crops!!

  15. #15
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsewell View Post
    We will apply Bio-mulch at 40L/Ha before rape/onto seedbed mixed with water through the sprayer which helps straw backdown and feed the bugs and bacteria in the soil.

    As far as I'm concerned it works and I'm convinced we all cultivate far more than necessary. Having visited Simon Chiles a couple of months back made me question why we need more than a JD 750a and a set of Cambridge rolls to establish all our crops!!
    I looked a bio-mulch but it just seems pretty expensive. Do you rate it highly Tom? My land will always need plenty of Calcium so I can't see me ditching lime but I do not use much P and K now.

    But personally given the stage you are at with the min till I can't see beyond a 750 and a roller for all crops in terms of trying to get the balance between efficiency, low soil movement, and a something which can deal with tricky seeding situations.

  16. #16
    Tomsewell
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Hi will

    Bio-mulch is a tricky one as its not always easy to see what it's doing. Having said that the rape after has done well (ish!) the past two years and other that compost for the first time this year is the only outside food source the soil gets so not too sad.

  17. #17
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsewell View Post
    Hi will

    Bio-mulch is a tricky one as its not always easy to see what it's doing. Having said that the rape after has done well (ish!) the past two years and other that compost for the first time this year is the only outside food source the soil gets so not too sad.
    Yeah I can accept that. But you obviously like what it does do?

  18. #18
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    just buy molasses from british sugar and mix with liquid n

    far cheaper more bang 4 buck

  19. #19
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    just buy molasses from british sugar and mix with liquid n

    far cheaper more bang 4 buck
    that's my plan this year ! min order is 10t though so might not suit everyone !

  20. #20
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    that's my plan this year ! min order is 10t though so might not suit everyone !

    advice: pre mix with the bowser!

    what rate u going?

    30L/ha = £5/ha

  21. #21
    brit
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    I looked at biomulch, but came to the conlusion that it was spending money to deplete the soils reserve of nutrients. by buying fertiliser you are at least maintaining what you have got.

  22. #22
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by brit View Post
    I looked at biomulch, but came to the conlusion that it was spending money to deplete the soils reserve of nutrients. by buying fertiliser you are at least maintaining what you have got.
    sound like you may have misunderstood how it works !

  23. #23
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    that's my plan this year ! min order is 10t though so might not suit everyone !
    That is a myth, BS being lazy. EDF Mann and probably T&L will deliver IBCs full of molasses or deliver 5 tonnes and fill any tank you like.

    Personally find the idea of spraying molasses on the land fupping mental but there we go. Maybe the wasps will like it.

  24. #24
    Chalk
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    What type of molasses is used?!

    As Mayo says, anything between 1000 litres and 29 tonnes can be taken on a load.

  25. #25
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    I'd like to know more please.

    Any sources of humic/fulvic acid?

  26. #26
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    My agronomist gave me a bottle of stubble aid that was some 25 years old! This product is now marketed as soil set.

    http://www.soilset.info/about.html


    anyhow- my biggest concern this autumn is N lockup from high residue levels (chopped a lot). Got some urea that is 3 years old and gone a little hard so mixed it with some liquid beet molasses marketed thtrough trident feeds. At 18p/l @ 15L/HA (we are close to factory) its not expensive and mixes well.

    Just like youd want to make forages more paletable as a stockman, it surely makes stubble more digestible to your "soil livestock" as any sugars are going to encourage colonisation.

    Its the imported strains of freeze dried microbes that i sturggle with conceptually, and thats what drives the cost up.

    Only trials scale at moment tho...

  27. #27
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
    That is a myth, BS being lazy. EDF Mann and probably T&L will deliver IBCs full of molasses or deliver 5 tonnes and fill any tank you like.

    Personally find the idea of spraying molasses on the land fupping mental but there we go. Maybe the wasps will like it.
    It's a myth straight from the united Molasses reps mouth last week

  28. #28
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by shakerator View Post
    My agronomist gave me a bottle of stubble aid that was some 25 years old! This product is now marketed as soil set.

    http://www.soilset.info/about.html


    anyhow- my biggest concern this autumn is N lockup from high residue levels (chopped a lot). Got some urea that is 3 years old and gone a little hard so mixed it with some liquid beet molasses marketed thtrough trident feeds. At 18p/l @ 15L/HA (we are close to factory) its not expensive and mixes well.

    Just like youd want to make forages more paletable as a stockman, it surely makes stubble more digestible to your "soil livestock" as any sugars are going to encourage colonisation.

    Its the imported strains of freeze dried microbes that i sturggle with conceptually, and thats what drives the cost up.

    Only trials scale at moment tho...
    Now personally I would not want to buy freeze dried microbes. I'd rather buy something that will give my own microbes the conditions to do better - and that may be some urea or something to balance out the C. I think you can spend your money in better ways.

    If you've got a lot of residue then really you need to try and get something under the residue to encourage a bit of feeding maybe - and urea could be the job?

    I'm seriously thinking of getting the local spoke wheel injector guy out to do my fert next year to get more N straight in the ground directly rather than spreading.

  29. #29
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Now personally I would not want to buy freeze dried microbes. I'd rather buy something that will give my own microbes the conditions to do better - and that may be some urea or something to balance out the C. I think you can spend your money in better ways.

    If you've got a lot of residue then really you need to try and get something under the residue to encourage a bit of feeding maybe - and urea could be the job?

    I'm seriously thinking of getting the local spoke wheel injector guy out to do my fert next year to get more N straight in the ground directly rather than spreading.
    Have had a microgranular starter batch made up which is far cheaper than umostart etc and will go through stocks techneat etc. So we shall see!

  30. #30
    Enry
    Guest

    Re: FW articles on zero-till

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
    That is a myth, BS being lazy. EDF Mann and probably T&L will deliver IBCs full of molasses or deliver 5 tonnes and fill any tank you like.

    Personally find the idea of spraying molasses on the land fupping mental but there we go. Maybe the wasps will like it.
    T&L dont sell molasses....they sold the business a while back....I thought you would have known that Mayo!!

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