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Over wintered stubbles

Over wintered stubbles come in many shapes and sizes. Many of these are now destined for a variety of spring sown crops.


I encountered a story the other day where the person in question, a farmer, explained they had rolled their cover crops during the frost as a means of killing them so as not to have to rely on using Glyphosate. “Besides which ground conditions were not suitable for the sprayer and it was much too cold for the spray to work.” I also learnt that “smaller (cover) crops had been slowed but not killed and where black grass was underneath it seems to have persisted.”


I too have encountered a variety of scenarios relating to over wintered stubbles as illustrated by these photographs.


Picture 1

Cover crop of Cereals and Vetch.

This one grew and then for the most part died. What is left now will get an appropriate rate of Glyphosate to KILL the blackgrass.


Picture 2

Winter wheat.

Not one of my favourite discussions. One of 4 fields which are recent additions to an established farm. This one suffered overwinter water logging; the crop is 51% dead and the blackgrass 49% alive. Another case for Glyphosate and spring planting.


Picture 3

Machinery

There are some really expensive bits of kit to be found on farm but price tag goes not necessarily mean best results from.


Picture 4

Sheep

A really great way to earn extra cash. Sheep on a previous crop or cover crop really do recycle and reuse what would otherwise be left to waste but even the best of drills may struggle to deal with those stalks.


Picture 5

Manure. Lots to be applied this spring. Farm yard, poultry and digestate. All of which should be a great asset to the spring crop. Things to watch out for are those buffer strips that don’t get any. Headlands are often omitted and are these not the areas where the crop often establishes the worst!