As the autumn sowing season nears, it is important to remember that 100% of the available yield of a given crop has the potential of being released only when the seed is in the bag. As soon as the seed bag is opened, various factors will combine to reduce that available yield. Once yield potential is lost, it cannot be regained, only maintained.
Management decisions are critical to maintain yield potential;
· Variety – chosen for yield or disease resistance or both?
· Sowing date - is it too early, is it too late, too dry, too wet?
· Lime – apply in autumn or spring, how much, what type?
· Spray - pre-emergent in the autumn or post-emergent in spring?
· Seedbed - roll or leave as is?
We have some control over these decisions. What we do not have control over is weather. The best we can do is ensure the crop is prepared for everything it may face. To do that we must ensure the young seed has everything it needs to grow into a strong young plant, prepared for the harsh winter season.
Critical to getting a young seed off to the best start is healthy and fertile soil. As the seed grows into seedlings and young plants, access to all of the soils nutrients is required to grow. Ensuring healthy and fertilie soil to encourage robust root systems is key, so as the plant awakens from dormancy come spring, it is able to begin vegetative and then reproductive growth without being held back by a lack of nutrients.
Three critical areas to address to ensure a healthy and fertile soil are: drainage, compaction and pH. Soil pH is usually the easiest of these to address. At a soil pH between 6.2 and 6.5, the vast majority of nutrients critical to achieving full yield potential are most available to the crop. As soil pH moves out of this range, critical nutrients get locked into the soil and as a result become unavailable to the plant. By maintaining a soil pH above 6.2, we can do our best to ensure the plant is not going to suffer deficiency and reduced yield as a result of unavailable nutrients.
G-Lime granulated lime is ideal to raise and maintain soil pH in the autumn to ensure your crops get off to the best start. 97.9% Reactive in 4-6 weeks, G-Lime begins to work immediately to raise soil pH. Available in various package size, G-Lime is easy to store on farm and can be applied to the seedbed prior to sowing, and can also be applied to the seedbed on the tramlines after sowing. Because G-Lime can be sowed in exactly the same manner as conventional fertiliser and with the same equipment, there is no need to co-ordinate with a contractor and compaction risk is minimised. G-Lime is very cost effective, with as little as 300kg/Ac able to raise soil pH by as much as 0.5.
Beef and Arable Farmer, Victor Hunniford recently used G-Lime on his farm near Portadown where Victor farms over 1,000 arable acres in N. Ireland & Scotland and raises over 800 beef cattle. “I applied G-Lime onto three quarters of a field and could easily see where it had been applied. The difference was unbelievable and it was a far healthier looking crop from the day it was established.”
G-Lime use to raise and maintain soil pH at target is ideal to help get plants off to the best start this autumn, and help to maintain all the yield potential that arrives in the seed bag.
Contact Kilwaughter Lime on 02828262132 for more on using G-Lime to get your winter crop off to the best start this autumn.