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Here we go again!

Well that’s Christmas out of the way again, thankfully, so we can now turn our minds to growing. Unfortunately, the wet autumn is turning into a wet winter with the added problem of it being warm. Isn’t it strange that even though we couldn’t get out with fungicides in the autumn we have warm wet humid conditions there is little sign of disease? Once again, we can wonder why we do as the salesmen (sorry, agronomists) tell us.

I can’t be flippant about some farmers being worried to death that they haven’t got all, or in some cases any drilling done as this is a concern. However, putting seed into cold, wet and airless soil will not answer this problem and there is little doubt that a spring crop put into warmer open soil will perform so much better if treated correctly. We have also seen examples of where a direct drill has been used before the soil is ready and then seed is glued into a sticky mess. It is often said that you must earn the right to direct drill and that means working with the soil for a few years to make sure it remains 50% air even after planting. This is the reason that many farmers opt for strip till machine as a halfway house when looking at moving on.

Once again, we have seen that untreated seed has far outperformed its treated partner, but I only suggest this where a liquid applicator has been attached to the drill so that the seed can be drenched as it is drilled. In all cases where this microbial/humate/silica drench has been used we see a greater root mass which in turn means the plant remains green and gets off to a better start. This system can also be used on spring drilled crops where quick root establishment is essential to get the required tillers. (If you’re interested in hearing a little more about this, you can watch us discuss it on YouTube: Either search: ‘Comparison of treated and untreated seed use’ or see the following video:

NB. Interesting to note that the farmers who want own seed cleaned but no treatment must pay more because the seed cleaning company is subsidised by the chemical company; they really do have this industry by the balls.

I am concerned that we get a cold snap the plants may suffer as we did not get chance to apply the autumn fix of Manganese. It is always shown that Mn is not taken out of cold wet soils because the necessary microbes are dormant, and this leaves the plant open to frost damage and they struggle to recuperate afterwards. If this does come to pass it may be necessary to spray any damaged crops with Amino acids (Naturamin at 300g/ha) and Fulvic acid (AF Nurture N at 2lts/ha) to help the plants recuperate…