HUTCHINSONS FieldWise(December2019) - Page 1

Crop establishment
under pressure
– time to take stock
As the wet weather continues in many regions of the country
it is important to consider what impact this has had on the
rotation and have a plan for the spring to prevent any further
unnecessary losses.
Matt Ward, services leader,
believes now is the time to stop
and consider how to make the best
of a difficult situation and avoid
impacting not just on the 2020
harvest but also that of 2021.
“My advice is to stop and take stock
and plan for the spring. We have to
face facts that soils in many areas are
already very delicate and cannot be
travelled on without causing long term
damage, and even by the spring soils
may not be in any better condition.”
It’s time for a mind set
change - think about
drilling areas of fields rather
than whole fields.
“So, ask yourself the question: is it
worth spending the time drilling
a whole field that is not going to
make any money, or would it make
better financial sense to focus on a
small area of the field that is in better
condition and worth the investment
in time and money?”
“In other words, be selective about
what areas of the field to crop and
what areas to leave fallow.”
“It’s important to recognise that the
long-term costs of establishing a
crop on fragile, unproductive soils
will be far greater than leaving an
area of the field fallow and focussing
on the better performing areas.”
Matt Ward
“For example, putting 25% of
potential wheat drilling from a
poorly performing turning headland
into fallow across a five year rotation
is not going to have a huge impact
on the overall net margin and will
save seed and time costs that may be
better spent elsewhere. “
“We know that parts of fields vary
in their ability to establish, and
this is where precision technology
can really come into play, as it can
support decisions about where to
invest in a field or area of a field and
where to hold off.”


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