With much of the discussions in arable circles focussing on the dry season & specifically the dry back end is it time we looked at our practices?
A lack of rain is clearly the major cause of dry seeded, but what of our soils themselves?
Modern arable farming relies on synthetic fertilisers, with us returning very little back to the soil. Obviously applying FYM would be the preference to improve OM content but most arable units in arable areas do not have access to large dairy enterprises with muck needed to be spread.(Nocton Dairies anyone?).
Of course this does not mean we cannot apply OM.
The use of cover crops, the growing of catch crops or over wintering basics, incorporating straw, green manures etc would all help.
Lockhart & Wisemans excellent Introduction to Crop Husbandry is a book I am sure we all read at some point as students, why have husbandry techniques been replaced by ‘agronomy’?
why dont have a look at the practices our fore-fathers held so dear?