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Read all the latest news from the agronomy services industry.

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Read all the latest news from the agronomy services industry.


Latest News

Watching Low Tiller Counts

Watching Low Tiller Counts

Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Category: Cereal News

For high yielding crops we should be looking for around a 1,000 tillers meter square at the end of March

With this very late spring it is very noticeable that the majority of crops of cereals have not tillered well. Even crops that look forward, from our trials farm experience, are not highly tillered this year! For high yielding crops we should be looking for around a 1,000 tillers meter square at the end of March – in a lot of cases they are not there! Nitrogen/rolling will encourage tiller formation BUT in most fields neither of these are possible at present (it is unlikely that any rolling will happen this year!). Hence the pressure is on the Nitrogen application bearing in mind we only have until around Mid-April for this to have any effect! Once the crop has come erect and stem formation is under way tillers are lost up to harvest when we would like to see approximately 500 tillers/ears per meter square (600 being promoted as the new target to aspire to!). We see from our own Trials Farm and AHDB work that this drastic tiller loss is normal – hence this year starting with a low number it will be IMPERATIVE that we do all in our power to retain as many as possible if we want good yields. With wheats the plant has the ability to compensate for low tiller numbers with longer ears which equals more and heavier grains. So by keeping the crop clean and well fertilized very respectable yields can still be obtained! With Barley however the plant does not have these fall back yield promoters – it has to have tiller numbers and plant bulk to get the yield! Hence I would prioritise Winter Barley nitrogen! BUT all wants nitrogen asap!

To ensure adequate fertilization your Pearce Agronomist has access to a Yara N Tester which gives a very good indication of the amount of Nitrogen in the plant and hence a very good guide to future requirements. This toil is especially valuable where organic manures/slurry are being applied and hence exact nutrient levels are hard to determine. Whatever your fertilizer policy this is NOT the year to under do Nitrogen applications but the N Tester will help you not over doing it. We are increasingly under scrutiny about the environmental aspects of over doing nitrogen usage and the financial implications of spending money you do not need to spend will become increasingly important as margins get squeezed!

Hence, talk to your Pearce Agronomist about keeping your crops well fed and healthy to get the best possible yields in what has started as a very difficult year!

 

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Pearce Seeds LLP
Rosedown Farm
Marston Road
Sherborne
Dorset
DT9 4SX


Tel: 01935 811 400
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Email: info@pearceseeds.co.uk