Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Reach for the spade before the Simba

February 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Crops

Arable farmers considering spring drilling are being reminded to cure any over-wintered compaction first or risk poorer crop performance and lower yields.

“There is a lot of surface water and other wet spots visible in fields right across the country, and it is clear that some land may not have been restructured as it should be for some years,” says James Clark, territory manager for Great Plains.

“There is a mis-conception among some farmers that the fissuring which occurs in dry conditions will play a major role in curing compaction. In reality it has minimal benefit, because those fissures seal up as the soil becomes damp again.”

“One added complication which may be contributing to these problems is that the size of some field machinery has increased in recent years, so compaction might be happening in areas where it has not previously been a problem”.

Mr Clark recommends removing compaction by a deep cultivator such as a Simba FlatLiner or Simba DTX – both manufactured by Great Plains. But the first implement farmers should employ is a spade, he adds.

“There is no point setting a deep cultivator at the wrong depth. If you set the tines too deep then you risk compacting well-structured soil below the pan upwards into it. Not only do you fail to solve the compaction problem, you might actually make it worse.

“We would advise you dig a few holes across the field before you start work to detect whether there is significant compaction and at what depth, and then go back afterwards and dig another set to check whether your remedial work has been effective.”