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Thread: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

  1. #1
    fred
    Guest

    i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Dont have the nerve
    to expose myself to risk from soil types, slugs and weather because through conventional cultivation i am 90% drilled into good seed beds.

    dont know when to start , it always too wet too dry,

    dont want to change my rotation

    dont believe direct drilling will cure grass weed problems

    dont want to upset landlords through not doing the job "properly", thus losing short term tenancies>

    dont or cant wait for the soil to correct its self . CASH

    DO >>>>> your views

  2. #2
    Steevo
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    We moved straight to 100% DD from min-till about 3 years ago. Not looked back since!

    We did nothing special prior to starting DD, other than having a used machine on demo to test it out on a field and haven't changed our system much other than cutting out cultivations and straight in with the drill. Admittedly we're using a "higher" disturbance Horsch Sprinter drill but it's worked wonders with us, halving the tractor hours required to plant....let alone diesel etc.

    Try it, you might be surprised!

  3. #3
    mbsrhol
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Only 3 litres of fuel per acre for establishment.

  4. #4
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    just do it - don't piss about with strip till etc just go for it


    Read and read and read to learn as much as you can, I found that doing that and talking to others that have been doing it a while has given me the confidence to jump of the cliff and try !!

    way I see it right now is what's the worse that could happen ? spring crops ?? so what ?? I will have wasted 20k on WW seed BUT I spent that much on cultivator metal last year !!

  5. #5
    peasantman
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    You dont have to go into it wholesale.

    Just do a field when it looks like it will work - like last year. Something like wheat after beans.

    Last year and the year before we did everything DD and it was excellent. This year we ploughed because it worked better in the rotation and soil conditions after harvest.

    IMO DD is just another tool to use on an opportunity basis. It might work all the time for some, but for us I am 99% certain it would not.

    If all my land was light, I would probably use it all the time, but there is still a lot to be said for plough - particularly the way it sets clay in ridges to allow better drying and weathering, like no other implement does. 1000 years of evolution etc.

  6. #6
    Hartwig
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
    we're using a "higher" disturbance Horsch Sprinter drill
    What type of openers do you use on the drill and how is your experience, especially with much straw or now in the wet ??

  7. #7
    fred
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Any answers to some of my questions

  8. #8
    peterraugland
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    yes.

    your glass is half empty, should have been half full! pe.

  9. #9
    autopilot
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    Dont have the nerve
    to expose myself to risk from soil types, slugs and weather because through conventional cultivation i am 90% drilled into good seed beds.
    Isn't your risk from soil, slugs and weather all part of the job?

    dont know when to start , it always too wet too dry,
    Agreed, too wet this year and too dry last year. If you keep the previous crop residue evenly across the field you will keep moisture in a dry year and the crop residue may even soak up some of the rain in a wet one. However cultivation with both straw and wet soil is a real problem for the drill this year.

    dont want to change my rotation
    What is you rotation? It may fit in with what you want to do.

    dont believe direct drilling will cure grass weed problems
    If it did every man and his dog would be doing it. If you have grass weed problems with cultivations you will have them with DD. However at least with DD (not strip tilling in my view) you are not turning more blackgrass every time you cultivate/drill. It will need close attention to detail prior to drilling.

    dont want to upset landlords through not doing the job "properly", thus losing short term tenancies>
    Do one field as a trial and if asked say what you are doing in an effort to improve the soil condition, which could be just one benefit. I started with one field last year and it was drilled with 3 demonstration drills as I don't have a direct drill. This year I am adding 4 more fields and 4 more demonstrations. Next year I am hoping to be able to buy the drill I think is most suited to my fields.

    dont or cant wait for the soil to correct its self . CASH
    By doing one field you will see if there is any benefit to you apart from the reduced overtime, reduction in wearing parts, less fuel used per acre, better soil condition. What do you do now when you get a crop failure in a cultivated field - put up with it as next year will be far better? Treat the DD field in the same manner, but it would work far better when your soil adapts to DD. I can see that after just a couple of years in one field.

    Peter is right, you need to keep your glass half full.....

  10. #10
    static
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by autopilot View Post
    Is
    Agreed, too wet this year and too dry last year. If you keep the previous crop residue evenly across the field you will keep moisture in a dry year and the crop residue may even soak up some of the rain in a wet one.
    I hope that my evenly spread, finely chopped, winter oat straw will have been absorbed by some worms / broken down by some frost before I try to direct drill in spring. Currently, it looks and smells like an inch-thick mat of soggy breakfast cereal It is at least holding most of the water off the soil though.

  11. #11
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by static View Post
    I hope that my evenly spread, finely chopped, winter oat straw will have been absorbed by some worms / broken down by some frost before I try to direct drill in spring. Currently, it looks and smells like an inch-thick mat of soggy breakfast cereal It is at least holding most of the water off the soil though.
    and this is why i am spring cropping. so that the residue becomes part of the soil by then, and slug habitat reduced with a few frosts

  12. #12
    Neddy Flanders
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Just looked at a field of rape I DD with 750a. Untreated seed sown at 200 seeds/m to take account of high slug pressure. It emerged perfectly in a field with not too much stubble. Absolute perfect rows of cotyledons.

    4 doses of pellets, 2 ferts and a herbicide .....


    Not a single rape plant remains. Absolute waste of time and effort...


    Seriously pissed off.

  13. #13
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neddy Flanders View Post
    Just looked at a field of rape I DD with 750a. Untreated seed sown at 200 seeds/m to take account of high slug pressure. It emerged perfectly in a field with not too much stubble. Absolute perfect rows of cotyledons.

    4 doses of pellets, 2 ferts and a herbicide .....


    Not a single rape plant remains. Absolute waste of time and effort...


    Seriously pissed off.
    Sorry to hear his

    what is your plan now? can you drill cereals after butisan with 750?

  14. #14
    Northdowns Farmer
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
    We moved straight to 100% DD from min-till about 3 years ago. Not looked back since!

    Admittedly we're using a "higher" disturbance Horsch Sprinter drill
    Another one wanting to enquire what openers you have on your Horsch? Using duetts on mine but not very successfully at DD.

    ND

  15. #15
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neddy Flanders View Post
    Just looked at a field of rape I DD with 750a. Untreated seed sown at 200 seeds/m to take account of high slug pressure. It emerged perfectly in a field with not too much stubble. Absolute perfect rows of cotyledons.

    4 doses of pellets, 2 ferts and a herbicide .....


    Not a single rape plant remains. Absolute waste of time and effort...


    Seriously pissed off.

    sorry it hasn't worked out, slugs are a nightmare in any establishment system this year I fear

    look on the bright side - at least your effort was limited to a very small amount of your time and fuel

    there will be many this year in the same situation having spent a fortune on fuel, metal, time and HP to achieve exactly the same !

  16. #16
    155tm
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neddy Flanders View Post
    Just looked at a field of rape I DD with 750a. Untreated seed sown at 200 seeds/m to take account of high slug pressure. It emerged perfectly in a field with not too much stubble. Absolute perfect rows of cotyledons.

    4 doses of pellets, 2 ferts and a herbicide .....


    Not a single rape plant remains. Absolute waste of time and effort...


    Seriously pissed off.
    About this boat we are all in together........ it is a *%$$ing BIG boat!

    Not that that makes anyone feel any better........

    :cry:

  17. #17
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Having now drilled some of our heavier and more challenging soils now I can see why DD would be hard for many to make work on some soils, no brainer on our light stuff though I think

    I reckon the heavy land will get better as it's left alone but you could loose a lot of crop waiting for that to happen - Maybe our 18 years of mintill has helped the transition as our soils seem better than I had thought they might be

    maybe the way into DD for heavy land farms is via a few years of mintil first ? not sure but I can see why the pain barrier while soils improve is too big for some to get through

  18. #18
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    Dont have the nerve
    to expose myself to risk from soil types, slugs and weather because through conventional cultivation i am 90% drilled into good seed beds.

    dont know when to start , it always too wet too dry,

    dont want to change my rotation

    dont believe direct drilling will cure grass weed problems

    dont want to upset landlords through not doing the job "properly", thus losing short term tenancies>

    dont or cant wait for the soil to correct its self . CASH

    DO >>>>> your views
    I wouldn't change if I were you. Whether you can or can't your right

    It works ok for me but its not the law and if your happy with what you are doing then keep at it.

    Lee did a bit of it and he didn't like the way it turned out and is way happier now he is back to power harrow combis. It doesn't mean you fail it just means that it just didn't suit. It never will be for everyone.

    Even if you save some cash on fuel and kit it gets spent on something else anyway so its as much about the enthusiasm you have for the DD job and how it fuels your interest in things as much as the bottom line sometimes.

  19. #19
    clover
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    Having now drilled some of our heavier and more challenging soils now I can see why DD would be hard for many to make work on some soils, no brainer on our light stuff though I think

    I reckon the heavy land will get better as it's left alone but you could loose a lot of crop waiting for that to happen - Maybe our 18 years of mintill has helped the transition as our soils seem better than I had thought they might be

    maybe the way into DD for heavy land farms is via a few years of mintil first ? not sure but I can see why the pain barrier while soils improve is too big for some to get through
    How about starting after a two year ley ? It would give an opportunity to subsoil during the summer to hopefully sort any structure problems.Dig a few holes before drilling to see what the soils like,and then think about how you are going to avoid ruining it again.How low can you go with ground pressure?

  20. #20
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by clover View Post
    How about starting after a two year ley ? It would give an opportunity to subsoil during the summer to hopefully sort any structure problems.Dig a few holes before drilling to see what the soils like,and then think about how you are going to avoid ruining it again.How low can you go with ground pressure?
    I think a good first step would be to incorporate as much straw, much and compost as possible pre the move to DD

    change rotation to try to reduce slug numbers (less OSR frequency)

    get drainage right

    then maybe go for it

    can't see why anyone ploughs though really these days on any scale as if DD won't work min-til will work on pretty much any soil, 15 years ago people who min-till now routinely wouldn't have accepted that though !!!

  21. #21
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by static View Post
    I hope that my evenly spread, finely chopped, winter oat straw will have been absorbed by some worms / broken down by some frost before I try to direct drill in spring. Currently, it looks and smells like an inch-thick mat of soggy breakfast cereal It is at least holding most of the water off the soil though.
    It will be brittle by then I promise. But may need to pick your day for drilling - in April probably.

  22. #22
    Steevo
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartwig View Post
    What type of openers do you use on the drill and how is your experience, especially with much straw or now in the wet ??
    Quote Originally Posted by Northdowns Farmer View Post
    Another one wanting to enquire what openers you have on your Horsch? Using duetts on mine but not very successfully at DD.

    ND
    Absolutely bog standard 4m sprinter with Duetts for cereals, or Solo for beans.

    Previous years had 140hp on the front and it took it well, though was pushing the tractor a little I feel. Most of the time however, it was only sloped that caused trouble....and even then more grip/slip issues than true power. This year moved up to 185hp which should hopefully be an improvement.
    Often drill wheat into chopped bean straw and it works well, rarely causes a blockage. Damp straw/soil doesn't help things though as it doesn't flow as well as dry would.
    So far not drilled a seed this year - most fields far too wet to consider taking a tractor on, let alone a drill, though if it stays dry over the weekend things may soon change as stubbles dry out much faster than tilled ground.

    I can't see the point forcing the system though, and given when we get a dry spell we can soon rattle on (60-70ac drilled in a day without working long hours - not many can do that with tillage and a single man!). Better to be patient, wait for good conditions and get it right first time imo.

  23. #23
    Krampeman
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Lee did a bit of it and he didn't like the way it turned out and is way happier now he is back to power harrow combis. It doesn't mean you fail it just means that it just didn't suit. It never will be for everyone.
    I wouldn't say I am way happier to be honest as I would rather be direct drilling, but I couldn't DD every single acre and having multiple drills is to costly.

  24. #24
    static
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    It will be brittle by then I promise. But may need to pick your day for drilling - in April probably.
    After April 6th might actually be quite useful.

    I seem to remember that under the last blanket of fluff we had some great worm activity - as if they like being covered up.

    re OSR destruction, I think a lot of people are in the same boat.

  25. #25
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krampeman View Post
    I wouldn't say I am way happier to be honest as I would rather be direct drilling, but I couldn't DD every single acre and having multiple drills is to costly.
    Ok happier is the wrong choice of word, no one is happy at the moment but at least you don't feel your breaking yourself against the idea all the time like it seemed when the Claydon was not performing.

    Haven't you got multiple drills at the moment?

  26. #26
    fred
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    could it be that rape is the problem , less rape equals, less slugs , before after and during ,

    so spring breaks would work,

    meaning smaller drill spreading work load, drilling into drying conditions as opposed to drilling into wetting ones

    which spring break crops, then

    just grown 1.5t acre of spring beans , thats one, next ...........

    obviously some osr on decent early land but no more mauling in osr into wet cold clay in september

  27. #27
    BSH
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    I would have thought the first thing is to want to do it. Once that is established the rest can be made to work. Why not get a direct drill that will work in your current regime as well as DD? You can then try some on the side. After you have proven or otherwise that it suits your situation then you can roll out the changes or not as the case may be. I cant beleive you would loose too much on a 750A if it didnt work out for you and would work fine in a min til situation.If you want it to work then you will alter your rotation. If you are not prepared to consider doing things differently then dont even go down that road.

  28. #28
    York
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    Dont have the nerve
    to expose myself to risk from soil types, slugs and weather because through conventional cultivation i am 90% drilled into good seed beds.

    dont know when to start , it always too wet too dry,

    dont want to change my rotation

    dont believe direct drilling will cure grass weed problems

    dont want to upset landlords through not doing the job "properly", thus losing short term tenancies>

    dont or cant wait for the soil to correct its self . CASH

    DO >>>>> your views
    Fred,
    in danger of misinterpreting the "not written meaning" of your post I only can tell you this:
    Don't start or even come close to DD or No Till.
    Waste of time to even comment on any of your points.
    York-Th.

  29. #29
    fred
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Blimey , to the point or what,

    York, perhaps you would like to elaborate on why not,

    Maybe in the midst of translation you have missed the jist of what I was trying to say, or how I was saying it, i was effectively asking questions as to why I or other potential direct drillers would not direct drill,

  30. #30
    brit
    Guest

    Re: i would love to start direct drilling but i.....?

    Too wet ?

    I bought my direct drill to drill WOSR about 13 years ago other crops were drilled after min till. One year when it was too wet to drill wheat on the land that was cultivated it dawned on me that the linseed stubble would drill direct.
    I started dding by accident (or was it desperation ?), anyway I have not seen a good revert back to the diesel "habbit". Start with mintill, build confidence, and have a go when conditions look right.
    I gave up dding all the WOSR and now put some of that in with a shakerator runnig shallow with a seed box.

    I think Yorks point is "if your not interested or beleive in what you do it won't work" , but that goes in any bussines.

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