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Chasing moisture at Eradu

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Eradu farmer Peter Barnetson reports the ability to chase moisture with the DBS promoted more healthy and higher yielding crops.

Eradu farmer Peter Barnetson reports the ability to chase moisture with the DBS promoted more healthy and higher yielding crops.

 

By KEN WILSON THE proof is always in the pudding. That’s why harvest is such an interesting time to assess management decisions. In the case of Eradu farmer Peter Barnetson, healthy crops this year confirmed his decision to start seeding early, after April rain. “We had the right gear and the right wheat varieties with long coleoptile lengths and we were able to chase the moisture during that six week dry period rather than watching the moisture get away,” he said. “It was evident if you couldn’t get to the moisture, the later sown crops, particularly, struggled to get going. “It’s one of the reasons I bought a DBS 915.2M, 50FT D Series) because of the ability to sow onto moisture or sow into it. “We were digging down to nine inches (22.5cm) with the seed sitting between 37mm and 50mm (1.5-2in) and benefitting from the deeper working that gave the plant roots access to moisture. “It was one of those years where the difference between deep ripped crops and non-deep ripped was about 1t/ha. “But even on the country that hadn’t been deep ripped we probably got at least 100kg/ha benefit, which translates to about an extra $30 a tonne.” Mr Barnetson said the under-seed cultivation to reduce re-compaction layers provided a virtual stress-free pathway for plant roots to access deeper subsoil moisture. “So there’s two things at play in terms of being able to place the seed where you want it and knowing every seed will be at the same depth and then giving plants the best chance to achieve their potential with access to moisture at depth during a tight finish. “If you can’t achieve that crops will pinch off and then you’ve got quality issues.” According to AgWest Geraldton salesman Cadeyn Catto, Mr Barnetson last year opted to have the new Pro-D tillage system retro-fitted to his bar. “The big advantage of the new Pro D system allows the farmer to make quick adjustments to the knife blade and seed bed tool (closing tool) allowing seed placement at exactly the right depth to chase moisture,” he said. “It gives the plants an optimum germination and the ability to use all the available moisture profile to set up for high yield potential.’ Published in Farm Weekly November 2015. .

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Thursday, November 19, 2015