Making plans for winter crops

Cropping Tips
pH testing
Now is the time to ensure lime levels are checked and rectified before you think of sowing any crop. Cereals & grass land needs to be at or near 6.5pH for best results. Remember we can get soil analysis results within 4/5 days and supply good quality ground Limestone if required.
Not to soil test your fields is a false economy and Lime is an investment that pays off every year
Seed dressing options
BYDV
First to consider is a seed dressing for BYDV (Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus), which has affected a lot of crops & reduced yields this year. It will cost around £10 per acre.
The dressing Redigo Deter protects against BYDV as well as being a slug deterrent.
Take All
Using “Latitude” seed treatment against “Take All’ is very effective for second or third wheats and costs around £10-£13 per acre depending on seed rates. “Take All” is appropriately named as it is a soil bourne fungus which affects rooting and can devastate yields.
Manganese
Manganese dressing is around £3 per acre and is a cost effective way of treating manganese deficiency as well as increasing early root development.
Please remember to order your seed requirements early, that way we can get you the variety you want and early orders are necessary if you require special dressings.
Seed Quality
We are still noticing seed being sold that is described on the bag as being a “lower voluntary standard”. Not surprisingly it is also being sold at a lower cost. At Aspatria Farmers, we have taken the decision on behalf of our members to only buy seed that is certified to HVS (Higher Voluntary Standard) which means higher germination levels and less weed seed contamination.
Our average germination was over 96% for last Autumn & Spring 2016/17 (the legal minimum is 85%).
Remember that we will supply the best varieties that are selected from on farm trial plots monitored in Cumbria. We make sure it is of the highest quality, because it is a false economy to supply poorer seed and as a farmer owned business we always strive to get you the best quality seed at the most competitive price we can!
Winter barley seed choices
We have been busy evaluating varieties, with Mark and Stephen looking at our own customer crops and varieties, together with the Agrovista trials at Penrith.
Sunningdale is the top hybrid 6 row barley, with Bazooka and Volume close behind.Florentine is still a very consistent all rounder.
We have plenty of Tower & Infinity barley seed; both of which are performing very well and both are high yielding and with a good disease profile. Cassia is also available.
The % rating against each variety shows how the variety yielded in NIAB national trial against a control of a range of last year’s main varieties.
Tower 103%
Higher yields than Cassia, better disease resistance especially against Rychosporium. Medium/tall but with a stiff straw. Average/early ripening with a very bold head, although grain quality is only average. From our observations it has performed well in Cumbria.
Cassia 101%
Good yielding 2 row barley which was the market leader last year. Stiff, medium height straw. An average score for disease resistance and it will need a fungicide for Rhyncosporium and Mildew. Average/early ripening variety with high specific weight. It performed well in Cumbria and in a lot of instances outshines its newer stablemate Glacier, which can brackle as its standing power is not as good.
Infinity 104%
A potential high yield for a 2 row variety. Medium height & strength of straw. Good all round disease resistance and from what we have observed it performed better in our area than Glacier.
Florentine 100%
Average yields, medium height & very stiff straw. Good disease resistance. Early ripening. An excellent all rounder. Has done well in Cumbria in the last 3 years. Not on the recommended list now so seed availability will be limited. We have seed grown for us in Scotland.
Hybrid Six row Barleys
All of the currently available varieties are produced by Syngenta.
Volume was the first of the newer varieties introduced but it was soon outclassed by Bazooka and this year Sunningdale looks to be the highest yielder in the north. This has been confirmed by our own customer crops!
All the hybrids are generally tall with stiff straw strength – so they need growth regulation & careful management to achieve the best yield.
It is always worth considering other high yielding two row barleys which have bolder grain samples.
Six row barleys have a lower seed rate, so each 500kg bag of seed sows 5 hectares/12.5acres. The seed is delivered direct from Syngenta so enquire before ordering to make sure supplies are available. The seed is supplied in 5 ha packs.
The above varieties are what we consider to be best suited to Cumbria & the North, however other varieties are available so please call us and we can discuss what other varieties may suit your need and farm.
Winter wheat seed choices
Although no wheat crops have been harvested yet, we have been busy evaluating our own crops as well as local trial sites.
The best varieties which we recommend for the coming season are, Graham for early sowings and Relay which is well suited to our area and again performed well this season.
There are many good high yielding varieties on the Wheat AHDB Recommended List, however many are not as suitable for our area, mainly due to their lower disease resistances.
Our main disease which significantly impacts on yields is Septoria Tritici which is more costly to control in Cumbria than it is on the east side of the country due to the wetter climate we have to contend with.
This is why we try to pick varieties that have the best resistance as well as good standing & high yielding ability.
We always like to try new varieties in the area before we commit ourselves to big acreages, therefore making sure that our members have access to proven, cost effective varieties.
Graham 104%
A new high yielding variety from 2016. It is a medium height variety and a good stander with average to early ripening. Excellent Mildew & Septoria resistance as well as resistance to Fusarium ear blight. A good all-rounder for our area. Also a slow developer that can be sown in September
Siskin 103%
A new variety in 2016. We have had some on our customer farms and is performing well. A medium length straw but will need to use growth regulation to help its standing ability. Very high yields & good overall disease resistance, especially to Septoria and Mildew.
Relay 100%
This has been our best-selling variety for the last 4 years. High yield with medium length straw. It tillers well to produce a thick good standing crop. Medium ripening and good disease resistance. Good as a 2nd wheat but will need a robust fungicide programme as it is now an older variety!
However it is not for early drilling as it is a quick developer, hence will put on too much leaf before spring. Crops look very good this season.
Lili 104%
Another newer high yielding variety from 2015, performing well in the north and on our farms. A shortish stiff straw and later ripening than average. Lili has good all round disease resistance, but like all wheats will need a robust fungicide programme.
Revalation 100%
A good all round variety that is suitable for very early drilling because of its slow development. We have some overwintered seed dressed and ready for delivery- please ask for details.
Again, the seed breeders continue to bring forward many good wheat varieties but from our work on farm we think the above will suit Cumbria best.
Others to consider could be Costello, Evolution, JB Diego & Skyfall.
Ask us for any more details.
Catch Crop Mixtures
These mixes are more and more popular for following on after winter barley.
Our range of Catch Crop Mixtures are designed to provide green feed & bumper crops of highly nutritional dry matter for livestock. We have in stock a Rape & Stubble Turnip Mix packed in 10 kilo bags which will sow 3-4 acres broadcast or 5-6 acres drilled
This is very economical at around £9 per acre.
We can also supply a Late Winter Keep consisting of Rape, Kale, Stubble & Sheep Turnip. Packed in 10 kilo bags which should sow 4 acres at around £18 per acre.
Also in stock we have straight Stubble Turnips and straight Rape in 5 or 10 kilo packs.
We have a variety of other mixtures – so please ask for details!
Most importantly, growing a successful crop on your farm is dependant on making the right decisions about varietal choice but is also highly influenced by your management of soil fertility and your crop protection regime!
Our Agronomists are here to help you make the best decisions on your crop from planning right through to sale or usage – we are judged by the quality and yield of the crops you produce and also by how cost effectively you acheive it!
Give us a call and see how we can help you earn more from your acres!

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