Spring 2021 Update
We’ve made it through yet another dark and damp winter, one that has felt especially long for obvious reasons! As the days get longer and the temperatures warm up, thoughts and actions turn back to field work. Most crops have made it through the winter in reasonable condition and they are now looking to start growing with the ever-increasing day light.
Below is a photo of a new spring root of a wheat plant - it's amazing to see all the hairs that will interact with the soil and the organisms that live there!
At the time of writing, we have just finished our first dressing of sulphur and nitrogen on the wheat and the oats. Sulphur is now seen as an important macro nutrient along with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and is essential for producing complete proteins in healthy plants. The ground travelled remarkably well considering the wet winter and I was particularly impressed with how light a foot print the tractor left on the Mzuri drilled fields. We didn't put tramlines in with the Mzuri drill in the autumn and instead used the GPS on the tractor to ensure we drive at 24m width with the sprayer and fertiliser spinner. This has helped reduce erosion and kept all of the soil covered during the wettest months.
We have also managed to desiccate the over winter cover crop ready for drilling beans when the ground warms up. I was really pleased with the areas that were grazed with sheep as this should hopefully make for a clean seedbed and bring some much need biology from the rumen of the sheep (yes, sheep sh*t basically!) The cover crop also captured all the late summer/autumn sunshine and held the soil together over the winter, retaining nutrients and feeding the soil food web. Once things dry out and warm up a little we will be using the Mzuri to drill the beans straight into the aftermath of the cover, preserving the moisture and more importantly, protecting the biological gains we made through not ploughing the soil.
As March continues and we head ever further into spring we will be busy planting and tending to our crops and helping our customers grow theirs. With any luck we’ll soon be able to meet up with each other and enjoy a bit of warm sunshine. The sooner the better!