2014-05-19  facebook twitter rss

Dry Spring Highlights Benefits of Strip Tillage

The very dry spring in many regions of the UK underlined the benefits of using strip tillage to establish crops, particularly on heavier soils and those with high clay content, according to crop establishment specialists Claydon Drills.

“The advantages have been more evident this year than in almost any other season,” states Jeff Claydon, who invented the patented Claydon Strip Till System which is now used in 26 countries, across all soils and conditions. He adds:
“Many farmers who used conventional establishment techniques this spring, particularly those on heavy clay soils, really struggled with primary and secondary cultivations, spending far more money than they needed on fuel, labour and soil-engaging parts just to get the seed in the ground. The quality of many seedbeds was very poor due to the dry conditions, soil structure suffered and crops struggled to establish. The effects of this have been compounded because in some cases agrochemicals have not had the conditions that they require to work as well as they could, which has led to a higher weed and disease burden.

This crop of spring wheat which was established on heavy land in Suffolk using the Claydon System

This crop of spring wheat which was established on heavy land in Suffolk using the Claydon System

“The combination of these factors has set the stage for some poor yields and quality come harvest, with greatly-reduced profitability and potentially a knock-on effect into next season through greater carry-over of weeds and diseases. The requirement to grow a third crop is leading to a big shift towards spring drilling and because of this correct, reliable establishment of spring crops is becoming much more important. There’s no question that the Claydon System is the way forward, particularly on heavy soils which are either too wet or too dry, but also on lighter soils where conserving moisture is the key to successful establishment.”

The Claydon System allows growers to establish a wide range of crops directly into stubble, min-tilled or fully-cultivated soils, five times faster and at one-third the cost of a plough-based system, with significant yield and environmental benefits. Claydon drills use a highly effective two-tine system which encourages very deep, complex rooting structures to develop quickly, minimising soil erosion and ultimately leading to stronger, healthier crops with improved yield potential. Trials conducted by seed breeder Saaten Union over the last seven years have found that yields from winter wheat and oilseed rape crops established using the Claydon System yields are, on average, 10% higher than those established using conventional techniques.

The benefits of the Claydon System are enhanced by using the Claydon Straw Harrow to reduce slug and weed populations before drilling, followed by Claydon Rolls to achieve thorough consolidation around the seeding zone to maximise crop establishment.

Claydon Drills

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