At the end of May we opened our doors in conjunction with Mzuri Ltd and welcomed onto the farm over 100 farmers across four open days. Like any event it was a great excuse for a tidy up around the yard and we were blessed with glorious weather.
With the weather on our side we took to the trailer for a guided farm tour. We looked at our newly drilled Soya fields which also feature two new additions for this year: a companion crop trial and a Glyphosate free field, both of which we will be updating in our farm diary and may provide interesting reading!
The highlight of the trip for many and the field that we’re most excited about was the precision drilled Hybrid Wheat. Drilled with the Mzuri Xzact precision seeder at 18kg/ha on the 25th of October we we’re anxious as to what the crop would do.
Before Christmas there wasn’t much to see but over the last few months it has come into its own and looks very impressive for such a low seed rate.
For comparison, we drilled two plots, one with the hybrid variety and the other with the conventional Graham. The hybrid counts around 38 tillers and the conventional around 31.
Compared to the Graham field next door drilled at 180kg/ha with on average 5 tillers, this is an impressive sight that gave food for thought to visitors.
Moving on to the Oilseed Rape plots, visitors saw the difference between crops drilled on wide rows (66cm) and narrow rows (33cm). Using the Select mode on the Mzuri Pro-Til drill we were able to establish two different row spaced crops. We explained the importance of light interception and were able to demonstrate the difference in straw strength between the two plots.
The wider rows promote healthier, stronger straw able to withstand the loads of the higher yields much better than that of the narrower drilled plants.
As usual our coulter comparison in the Wheat challenged the idea of smothering weeds.
The single band coulter on the Pro-Til 3T gives us the best opportunity to control grass weeds. Many herbicides in our arsenal work on a contact basis, meaning if we can improve the exposure of weeds through wider spacing between crop plants, the more effective the control.
We’re favouring the single coulter and it is now our standard mode across the majority of the farm.
We were lucky to have a live demonstration of the new Mzuri Xzact precision seeder which drilled Maize into a Radish cover crop. Visitors appreciated seeing the machine in action and saw first hand the new innovative system Mzuri has to offer as part of its standard Pro-Til Range.
The new system means crops such as Maize, Peas, Oilseed Rape and Cereals can be precision planted in one pass straight into stubbles, an exciting prospect.
After lunch, visitors were given a presentation on our farming system and also heard from Ben on how other Mzuri farms are using and benefiting from the system. Ben has been visiting Mzuri users across the country and has witnessed some interesting trends including savings and changes to crop management practices.
The wide range of savings he had seen across farms was certainly nothing to be sniffed at as well as the increases in yields many growers are now achieving thanks to the system.
Visitors had a chance to have a look around the production facility and see the machines up close.
Overall, we had a very pleasurable four days showing visitors around the farm and hearing of their own experiences. We will be hosting more open days later in the year with dates to be confirmed soon.