November Crop Update

18th December 2017

Bringing us closer to the end of the year I took a moment to look over Novembers antics.



Early November marked the last of our Wheat drilling campaign. I like to drill across a big window when possible for two reasons, A) to have crops at all stages for our visitors to see and B) to spread my workload. The final two fields were drilled with the variety Graham at 180kg/ha with the Pro-Til band placement of 0.24.24 at 120kg/ha below the seed.


Earlier drilled Wheat is looking impressive right across the farm. I can really see the reliability of the drill for placing the seed into the centre of the tilled strip, particularly around headland corners where the crop looks equally as good as the middle of the field.


This conformity across the field is part of the reason we have seen an increase in yields over the past years since converting to strip tillage, and providing optimum conditions for the seed is something I feel is really important.

Winter Wheat drilled on the 3rd of October with the narrow band coulter

Winter Wheat drilled 27th of September with the wide band coulter

Headlands look equally uniform thanks to the patented pivot on the seeding leg of the Pro-Til drill

Precision Wheat

As part of a trial to test the new Mzuri precision seeder kit, I conducted my own little experiment that turned into 12ha of precision planted Wheat at a very low rate. 18kg/ha to be exact, yes 18kg. Planted in late October around the time of our German visitors, I now have two fields with different varieties to compare. One hybrid variety by the name of Hyclick and the other, a non-hybrid variety called Graham.

I might add that my agronomist thinks I’m nuts and he’d probably be right on this occasion, but something tells me that a low seed rate isn’t to be feared if we are going to get a handle on weed control using contact herbicides. It should certainly tiller well at least! At present, I can tell no noticeable difference between the two varieties, both are up and away and make for an interesting first impression. Time will tell, if my gut feeling has any weight, and I’m hoping the crop might too!


Testing the new Mzuri Xzact precision seeding unit, Winter Wheat drilled at 18kg/ha

Oilseed Rape

During November, on the advice of my agronomists David & Oliver, I applied a herbicide and fungicide mix to all the Rape fields. We applied 1.7l/ha of Kerb Flo 500, a grass and broad leaf weed killer, along with 0.65l/ha of the fungicide Prosaro.


Overall, I am very pleased with this year’s rape, and now have fully converted to the wide row spacings (666mm) for its ability to produce thicker stems capable of supporting higher yields from increased light interception. The crop looks healthier and stronger in the wider rows and visually impressive to boot.

Oliver checking over the 666mm row spacing drilled OSR with a thumbs up

Kerb and Prosaro mix being applied

Cover Crops

Keeping themselves to themselves, the Radishes are continuing to do their job. However, the frosts have started to set in and are taking a noticeable toll on the cover crop. It is fair to say they will be on their way out by January, ready for drilling Spring crops.

Radish mix standing tall before the worst of the frosts

It won't take long for the frosts to kill off the useful crop

By Martin Lole
Arable farmer and owner of Springfield Farm, a Mzuri Trial Farm


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