KINGS Cover crops nutrient capture and soil health Clive Wood



well good morning the presentation that have got here really is just to cover probably more the mechanics they cover crop side to where we use cover crops and how it can build them into the rotation what I've also got is some of the techniques that we can use as a result of some of the changes that we've seen to things like EFA and the introduction of some of the new stewardship schemes so bear with me a good photograph to start and not specifically put up to shock people but just to focus the mind Jimmy sure the fantastic photograph of so leaving the filter of the farm gate and this is a photograph of Seoul that's left the field through the air now you might want to read into that photograph in a number of different ways it was floating around on social media through the snow through that heavy period of snow what I found interesting was that it's probably happening through all the terms of the year or the periods of the year but just suppose we had white snow does it probably amplified the effect of what was going on I'm not here to try and say how we should correct that or even why it happened fine snow had very strong wings so the song was probably in a position where it was going to blow out the field book should we have let it blow out of the field I think was more the fact that I was actually looking at and the management of that field from that particular farmer who I don't know who it was and they don't really want to know the most important thing is how do we look at avoiding that and was it was it soil condition organic matter very low is a soil in a fragile condition is it the management I would pound the sole too early folks is the mind in terms of what we can actually probably do on our own farms in terms of looking at the management what this is really going to do is just bringing clarity to efficient you inform us of the affairs there's a lot of things that we can do with the aphasia now go into detail protection of solemn water through our various management actions construct stewardship constructs your trip schemes that have been introduced that I think are more manageable on our on our farms and effective use of cover crops we know it's an evolving landscape we know there's been much changing the way we work to where we are being viewed from government and new policy and despite ongoing fears and there is a lot of ongoing fuse if you look at the majority of people they actually covered the RIA fairs in a very simple way by using peas and beans well as a result of the change that that's gone so we've got to use wise use and of how we actually manage our land to meet greening and stewardship requirements they're not going to go away and we've got to actually embrace them and work them within our management system I think the background as we've seen and we keep seeing this in various publications is abstraction of water the protection and improvement of our soil looking after our flora and fauna looking after our wildlife and our birds and the man who seems to be behind a lot of this mr. girl we're also looking now at his 25 year environmental plan and that is actually if you have the time and probably most of you don't to actually read sections of that makes quite a lot of sense so we've got the details of ear fairies we might not go into too much detail of that so I'm sure you're all understanding the mechanics of that but more than 15 hectares of land plant protection products no longer available so this took away our very easy P being approached from the options that we've got available to do this ahead for us nitrogen fixing crops capturing cover crops Rufus tree field margins and the follow option so a quick look at the ratios and what spend too much time on this but if we look at nitrogen fixing crops and the ratios that we've got the fatherland buffer strips and field margins caching cover crops and hedgerows that are on the farm and why not if we've got hedgerows on the farm and it's a permanent feature then let's measure them and let's get them into the calculation they're not going away they're not changing dramatically so make best use of them just a quick calculation at the bottom was really there just to show how one particular farmer might have achieved his AFL requirements but that is very typical of one farm will be different for virtually every farmer so I just wanted to go through very quickly some opportunities because what I'm seeing in in the change mindset to affairs with the loss of peas and veins because a lot of farms are probably confused as to how they can tackle a phase on their own particular farm and often hear a bit of doom and gloom and people are saying well it's a difficult thing but actually if you start to use a little bit of man lateral thinking and a man set can actually make these work much more effectively for you so the follow option first generation 30th of Jones we're taking the precise approach and were parking the poor land were attempting to pack the poor land we all have and I would think it's very rare that a farmer hasn't got in his mind a small area of his farm or a percentage of his farm there's probably not contributing to his bottom line so parking the poor land is the way to utilize so I'm a big believer of getting more from from what we've been given or what we have to comply with through legality so on a fallow land for an example we're allowed to have a wild bird seed mix we are allowed to burn it to flow mix our or we can just leave it fella and do nothing which would be I think the worst option to take so well but see mix and if we look at it in carefully we can use a social structure mixture we wouldn't send it to you as a social structure much we would send it as a world bourtzi mix on your invoice but in your man set they actually make the land work much more effectively for yourself by using the soil structure mix if you look at the top picture that's a deep rooting tillage radish there are a number of varieties out there this is just one particular variety that we've measured on because we think it works and what's it doing basically subsoil in not not be at burning still it's not using steel it's not using diesel and it is actually doing some good something that is subsoil in the land well you're asleep must be a benefit the bottom one is really the picture of that particular social structure mixture and we can say the benefits that we've got there Paul on the nectar mixtures nectar flower mixtures and we do another relatively cheap and tailored mixture which is an annual pollen and nectar specifically done for one year can be used in your airfare fella and again we've structured it to be cost-effective so cats crop this is often the one the short term wants actually was 20th of August to 14th of October that's actually increased by two weeks it was the first of October but it was more manageable as it was now it's got two weeks later probably taking some of the management effective management techniques that we could use before and made it a little more difficult then hazard think it'll be a little bit out of the box think laterally will can actually in an eight week period do various things we have growers in parts of country mark Sudan growers that struggled would coach them through battle control sort of the removal of neonicotinoids and as a result they're now looking at maybe taking oil seed rape out of rotation I'm not here saying that you should do that that's not my intention but if it looks as though that isn't working for your coming out of a barley going into a shot could a crop catch crop boxing off the fa and then into a winter weight similar again more sudden grows with blackness problems that option is fitted very very well for people who want to box off the airfare and still come in with electrodes went to wait for black grass control what we're actually looking at is trying to do more with an option that we've been given protectors and defended radish if you look at my particular part of the world east yorkshire the photograph at the top that's the field of peas that's gone off with cheese areum foot rot or is it just the fact that we've got lower organic matter levels and of soil is more prone to slumping if we can bring in a short term crop bringing some buoyancy we don't have to come in on the 14th of October and destroy it we can leave it longer we can come in later and we can plow and we can bring some buoyancy back into that soil we're not going to repair the organic matter levels overnight it's going to be a longer term process but if we find a way of improving that social structure slowly but gradually and it avoids that kind of thing taking place in the next P crop much value and increasing margin for the farmer the FL opportunities for Cooper crop could be a combination could see it as a combination of catch drop and and follow but again a number of years they're compliant and dual purpose cover crop seed mixtures have been developed to actually use this in specific ways within your rotation if it's not if it's something you've got to do then let's get the best out of it let's make it do more we look at one of David's type soil maps above it shows clearly the areas in the field that you might not want to pump this is only one picture I don't know the history I don't know whether that's what we're seeing over five years but over one year it identifies the area that might we might want to select those areas to go into either II affair or we might even want to select them to go into a stewardship scale they're probably the areas contributing to your five-year bottom line and gross margin so we have and was introduced to us and I'm not going to go into great detail of it Jenny's here today Jenny Stafford who will give you a much much more detailed overview of how those work but we have two new offers that were given to us on the in February this year and as a result of mr. girls observations of how complicated the stewardship schemes actually are he introduced the simplified scheme when we look at it in detail we have a mixed farming offer and we have an arable offer basically the kind of payments that we're getting there that's the arable offer payments we've got to select different categories from different parts of it it's not rocket science and every farmer is told that he will get an agreement so a simplified online application and probably with a bit of help from Jenny in terms of how you go about that and no-brainer well worth having I think on your farm to take care of some of the areas that probably not contributing to your bottom line that's really just the mixed farming options and to say not to go into details not the time today but it is something that you might want to consider optimising your soil and water and this is where we just move on to some of the crops and how they perform and how you can actually look at different cover crops for your particular rotation but think crop production check the whole farm approach compliance and stewardship are here to stare so let's use them let's not let's not just as them let's use them let's fit them in and let's let's allow them to add to your bottom line in your gross margin compliance and stewardship utilize the expertise available soil health what we've been discussing this morning rotations livestock compliance and risk management risk management on areas that's a muddy not producing the gross margin that you would like an affecting the gross margin of the rest of the field becomes risk management a very interesting but not a new slide and this is where it just got a few slides on how some of the cover crops are performed this was work done in 2015 2016 with university of east anglia was done in conjunction with Kings and various other organizations but provides some fantastic information if we look at rainfall on the top and then we look at nitrogen loss the track almost immediately so soon as you're getting high rainfall you're also getting very high high losses of nitrogen phosphate below similar a similar track a similar pattern but it's very interesting how quickly when it starts to rain we start to use a lose over valuable nutrients well this just takes that trial a little bit further monitoring the field drains this actually just gives you an idea of some of the some of the things that we're doing in these fields and the effects that we had the top one control plowed left over winter no no no no action just a plowed field and look at the milligrams of nitrogen per liter lost on that you see the result there 12.3 the second one down eighteen point two seven but an average of fifteen point three milligrams per liter lost on a plowed field as we come down our crop our winter wheat crop that we would view as a cover crop we would always be you that as some form of cover but when we actually look at the loss of nitrogen we said it's actually not very effective in terms of returning nutrients in the field so then we start to look at a number of very basic cover crops and winter I'll say drip another crop obviously that we use in much less in terms of nutrient loss and then we start to look at a number of radishes not complicated mixtures here but just really trying to show some results I mean look how quickly the nutrient is retained within the crop and within the field still your produce you've paid for it one day it was sat on the lorry as a 500 kilogram bag like what you've been in against now looking at those you see the valley oh why shouldn't it be sin for the nutrient that's being lost out of the field again a number of Cooper crops and performance and these some of these figures are starting to get replicated now over six years so we're actually starting to get quite confident with some of the mixtures some of the actual types of species that we put in and where we might like to actually pitch them and use them for different soil types so after six years we have seen the radish in the initial figures that we took the initial test we thought the radish was showing effective results and and that's transpired through into tests that were still taking now on different parts of the again different soil types so you see the turnip rabe and you see the mustard the Vettes rye vitality mix is a mix that would thinking about it be very suitable to this type of soil here this type of high magnesium soil type would be very suitable to our vitality mix more suited to that particular soil type soil depth and what were actually trying to achieve our structure mixture would mark targeted at heavier clay deeper soils where we actually use different species such as add a protein tillage radish which you saw on one of the previous slides to actually break out in the soil and subsoil the nutrient capture their figures been very interesting Alfred again what dwell on this very similar to what we've just seen the figures do keep filtering through are similar but again we're looking at similar mixtures but we can actually see that some of the mixtures bear land and here we just took it a little bit further because we're starting to look at whether some of these crops had any effect on black grass control a huge subject lots of lots of warm answered questions but you've got to start looking and here we started to see that we're getting some effects from the radish on the control of black grass so interesting figures similar capture results here but there we started to look at soil moisture scarring we wanted to start to look at how the soil was conditioned ready for the drill with a mini tail drill as it was arriving in the field we also looked at wheat Vegas car as it too germinated and started to grow and we also looked at the yield and protein levels so we start to build some very interesting data can't go into too much detail of it here today we do say that that actually we're starting to build up a very interesting replicated trial this is some work that we've been involved with we're entering our third season this will be our third season of spring Sun crops following a line of cover crops which have been grown in the same place and will be the same types of cover crops and you will see here with certain grain samples from 2016 and 2017 and we're looking at nitrogen content so again you can see what has come through as work effectively control stubble 1.43 1.42 but then you snap to look at one of our mixtures the structure makes one point one four one one four six actually maybe not performed as well as what we would have liked the defender radish shines out through this trail at one point five one and one point five one and these are a reason for this and I'll show you this on the next slide so here we have the different types of crops our control systems that we've used in this trail control do nothing turnip structure defender radish radish mix fertility mix that's where I FM X 1 2016 results and 2017 so we're starting to build up a picture of an increase in yield as a result of this replicated trial be interesting to say after this year with the amount of rain and actually a cover crop hasn't performed too well it's not as good it's had a difficult year in terms of its growth and the cover crop that were actually desiccated this has been spread off desiccated is not as good as the previous two so it might skew the results if it does great it's interesting to know if that's that's what's going to happen the one that does highlight each turn through this is a defender radish if you look in there we've got radish mix on the right and it's not performed as well defender radish on the left we are trying to get the answers as to why this is the case my gut feeling is and a work on too much detail a defender radish is what we call a multi resistant radish which means it has nematode control qualities that is really the only difference between the defender and the radish makes are we seeing a buildup of free-living nematodes in that area probably we have tests undergoing at the moment to try and find out whether that is a result and did it perform better because in that scenario and it's good feeling here can't be backed up with too much science but at the moment did the cover crop girl better because it was under less pressure from group grazing nematodes and as a result did capture more nutrient and how's that filtered through to the end result and these are some of the trials that you at this moment in time here today we don't have all the answers but we're heading in the right direction so you can just see the yield average 2016 and then you can see the yield average 2000 in the southern came which was interesting in that we're going up we will see what happens after harvest 2018 and see what the result is just one last section and this is to two guys that seems to have put on maybe too much weight as times gone on but my colleague Paul Brown who I've worked with on cover crops for seven years and have a tremendous amount of Chairman respect for and myself and what we decided to do was to use a micro razzle inoculum and we've heard a lot about micro Sol and can we can we actually trigger it in an area where we think there is very little micro razzle activity so we decided to go out there and find a suitable mycorrhizal inoculum we inoculated a number of crop mixtures and cover crop strikes and we observe these through the growing period to this point and RLC is root land colonized and root land colonized is really doomed by a company they're analyzing this berry in them in much detail for us and we're actually working now that numberous can mix treated and then obviously control no treatment treated radish and then treated earth and controlled radish and then control earth the figures have been very interesting the growth of the crop in the field certainly gave us some indication that something was going on at one stage the phacelia was six inches higher in the treated area than the non treated area and that came through to the point where then we started to get every frost and snow and everything sort of got hidden then by by poor weather conditions but the way to look at this and a replicated trial again is important that what we've done is we we burnt off those areas and then we've direct drilled in so we've direct drilled in and we were looking off last week to find a 25 minute window in the weather and I think that's about what it was where the soul was dry enough for us to be able to go and direct drilling spring weight and we're now going to monitor us through the growth stage of the spring weight and see if we can see anything the idea roots that we possibly can keep the mycorrhizal activity that was generated in the cover crops going through into the barley can we see a yield going forward we probably should have tried to keep some species in that cover crop alive and looking at it higher in in the future we'll probably go to use a number of clovers so last slide really is how how can we help you the Kings came advice on how to successfully integrate EF air requirements agar environment agreements Jenny's here today and I was working with Jenny on some workshops yesterday and it was a very successful day where a number of farmers come in and we act got really into the detail of how they would integrate this why if it's right and looking at various gross margins so Jenny's here to do that arable forest forage crop in obviously sporting this creeping to this people do like to shoot and supply of correct seed and support option delivery with our ongoing and management advice thank you

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