Gone are the days when farmers second-guessed the soil conditions and the amount of seed to be sown in the fields. “It’s what we’ve always done…” doesn’t work anymore.
More and more farmers these days are employing the services of a soil mapping consultant who will measure the amount and type of nutrients and base metals in the soil, in precise detail, along with the PH level and the type of soil (heavy loom, clay, sandy etc) and make their recommendations accordingly.
This however, is only half the story. It is important to also understand how this information is then used. The farmer can employ various technologies to ensure that he is matching the seed sown and fertiliser to the ground conditions. Within every field there will be wetter or drier areas, patches of soil with more or less nitrogen stored or different soil conditions. By using GPS systems, the farmer can make sure that he is delivering the correct ratio and type of soil improvers at any given time to achieve the optimum crop.
A new and innovative seed sowing principle known as Variable Seed Rate (VSR) is increasing in popularity amongst the agricultural community. This enables the farmer to reduce or increase the number of seeds sown per square metre depending on the ground conditions. The end result should be an even crop over the whole field at harvest time, with all plants producing a similar head of seed; at the same time and with the plants being all of a uniform height and density. This is important for effective and efficient harvesting in the autumn and can result in a higher yield and therefore is more profitable to the farmer.
Any comments or questions? Please contact Jean Arnott on 07881 093485 or email [email protected]