Cover Crops 3.0

Discussion in 'Tillage' started by Louis mc, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. nashmach

    nashmach Well-Known Member

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    Light run of a pigtail harrow twice and sow on the second run followed by rollling :undecided:
     
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  2. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    That is four runs with a tractor at a time of the year when time is in short supply. Having to do that much work would take away from the fuzzy feeling you get when you have cover crops.
     
  3. nashmach

    nashmach Well-Known Member

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    I know :blushing:, I was trying to keep the spend down as much as possible. We used this method for AEOS in the past and sowing with a Vicon.
     
  4. Tony Bell

    Tony Bell Active Member

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    your work with Lucerne makes sense
    I’ve been working with double cropping winter triticale and forage maize. The protein comes from the triticale and energy from maize (separate forages). But in this season even the triticale has suffered in north Dublin with the wet. Coupled with no early N applied.
    Can you companion crop Lucerne with maize as I’m planning to strip till maize this season after or into triticale stubble. It gave excellent results last season
     
  5. Sheebadog

    Sheebadog Well-Known Member

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    Lucerne is tricky to establish, and once established, it’s hard to get rid of it.

    Dry, deep, free draining land is needed.
    Maybe plant in August after a cereal crop, and take out any weed competition? Let it establish over the winter and just strip till into the lucerne?

    Lucerne is excellent as a companion crop because of its durability. Once it’s established it’ll just sit and not compete with the primary crop. However it won’t contribute anything to your forage crop, well nothing worth talking about anyway. All it’ll do is contribute N towards the maize plant.
    If you’re looking for something to pump N and contribute protein to the forage crop you’re looking at something like beans/peas etc. This is a new departure for Ireland imo. Any intercrop will have to be planted inter-row after the maize is planted...and it’ll have to be a vining plant so as to get up there with the maize and compete for sunlight, iykwim.
    We’ve an old Suffolk coulter Sulky drill modified for the job...about an hours work with an angle grinder! When the maize is at 4 leaf stage plant the beans, and herbicide at 5-6 leaf stage. Sounds easy but you need to be on the ball with regards timing.
    I can’t see us having any time this year for it tbh.
     
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  6. Sheebadog

    Sheebadog Well-Known Member

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    Squarrosum clover planted in December.
    Will probably ensilé next week if we get the time.
    To the left of the pic there’s a line of lesser green color, that’s where we came back at Xmas time to finish the field...it seems to have the same bulk, nodulation etc but the color is markedly different. Less N released?
     

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  7. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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    That is very impressive considering the amount of rain you got. Was the rain a hindrance on it do you think? Of does it like wet conditions?
     
  8. Blackwater boy

    Blackwater boy Moderator

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    Will you mow it for silage? That’s serious bulk for the planting date
     
  9. Sheebadog

    Sheebadog Well-Known Member

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    I think that it loves water.
     
  10. Sheebadog

    Sheebadog Well-Known Member

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    Yea we’ll mow it shortly when we get a bit of time. Should do 5-6tdm? If it was planted in September it would yield over 8tdm but certainly not this year. Time is there now to get in some maize in as ground temps are over 13*. Maize is slow going for planting compared to spring cereals etc. There’s always a tense time getting cc pitted and maize and sorghum planted. We aim to have maize in the ground within 24hrs after removing the cc to try and conserve moisture.
    We badly need rain.
     
  11. Blackwater boy

    Blackwater boy Moderator

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    Is it just clover or what is the grass/cereal type plant also visible J?
     
  12. Sheebadog

    Sheebadog Well-Known Member

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    The original mix included balansa and berseem along with Italian ryegrass (7kg/ha) and squarrosum (15kg/ha). I fired everything to hand at it because the ground conditions were so bad. The ryegrass and the squarrosum were all that grew. We’d have a big problem with wild ryegrass in most of the tillage ground also. I’ve other ground that got just pure squarrosum and there’s plenty wild ryegrass through it.
     
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  13. Hereford

    Hereford New Member

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    Just wonder what lads wold sow as a summer cover crop. Have a couple of acres when rabbits destroyed winter rape. Wheat going in next.
     
  14. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    SOSR, not too late.
    Redstart and graze very early.
     
  15. Sheebadog

    Sheebadog Well-Known Member

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    Berseem/Alexandria clover @ 15kg/ha or more.
    Plant into a dry seedbed to a depth of 1cm. Roll twice.

    It’ll condition the soil and save you buying artificial nitrogen.
     
  16. Masseyrk662

    Masseyrk662 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone grow Westerwolds grass for sheep during the winter ? I take in about 300 ewes every winter for 4/5 months and was debating trying it this year for them, I remember in college one of the lecturers Mike Walsh insisted it was super stuff to grow and needed nothing only slurry
     
  17. Oakley

    Oakley Well-Known Member

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    Yes tried it already but would rate stubble turnips/forage rape as much better feeding. The brassica crops can be grazed right through the winter up until mid febuary before they think of going into stem extension, the westerwolds will try to go to seed before December so you will find it hard to get it all grazed before this happens, then you'll be short of grass through dec and Jan waiting for it to go grow back.
    If it goes to seed it will persist in the field for years to come, Pacifica and falcon control it but control in a crop of barley could be a lot more difficult.
    The seed is a lot more expensive than brassica seed.
    On a plus side it grew a massive root structure and it was like ploughing a ley after it so from a soil benefit point of view it would be positive. We cut most of it for silage in 2018/2019 and in hindsight were blessed with the weather for machinery to travel. I wont be trying it again as in a normal winter you could really tear a field assunder trying to take the crop out
     
  18. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    I had planned to take out a few acres to plant some type of brassica this week after cutting silage with a long term view to reseed it next spring. The dry weather meant that the silage return was back about 20%, so my first priority is to secure enough silage for next winter and this will be done through a second cut. The slurry went out this week and it should be cut and baled by mid august. Will it be too late then to put in some type of crop like Redstart or stubble turnip? I am hoping to graze a few of the lighter weanlings on it over winter and then reseeding in april.
     
  19. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    Redstart will grow a crop if planted in mid August, but it will be small and may not be economic if the Autumn is cool or too wet. The extra yield from establishing a crop Redstart in June versus August will be more than the yield off a 2nd cut of silage. If you are in a position to use the extra Redstart you will have more fodder if you get the Redstart established now. I would consider the 15th August as the latest day to sow Redstart, and that is on tillage ground that will return nothing for the rest of the year, up with you I would think that date moves a little earlier and on grass ground it again will move earlier because of the grass it will grow in the Autumn. I would guess 31st August would roughly be your last economic time to sow.
     
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  20. Nashty

    Nashty Well-Known Member

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    I put in redstart mid August last year and it grew very well I have to say. I would see no issue with it.
     
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  21. Nashty

    Nashty Well-Known Member

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    If you sowed Redstart in mid June, would it not get too strong almost by the time it was being grazed in the winter months? I thought proper Kale was best suited to sowing in June, but that Redstart was for August.
     
  22. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    The brassica was planned to be an experiment. I have no experience of growing any. I can't risk relying on it to replace the silage. I'd prefer to be sure of myself and get the silage and do my experiment afterwards if it is possible to do it.
     
  23. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    I have never found that, I have plant more Redstart, (Rape/Kale hybrid) in June than I have planted in August and never had a problem.
     
  24. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    Understood, but if sowing in mid August don't depend on any increase in yield over aftergrass, it will be more usable through the winter but no big bonus yield.
     
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  25. headcase

    headcase Very Senior Member

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    could you graze redstart twice?
     
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