Making adjustments for late drilling


With an estimated 10% of UK Cereal drilling completed to date this year, weather and drilling windows are top of mind for most farmers this autumn season.

Much like last year many of you will be sitting and waiting, holding out for that optimum window. Somehow that might feel a little tougher this year, as it’s not about the blackgrass, but rather relentless wet weather.

We don’t need to tell you that it’s not the calendar date that counts, but it’s the quality of the seed bed that matters most. Big yields can come from later sown crops if they are set up well; it all starts with crumb structure, tilth and good seed-soil contact.

There are a few things you can do to prepare, here’s a few we’d recommend:

Be prepared

Get your seed on farm.

When things are in such flux, there’s nothing more important than being ready to seize the opportunity

Select your variety

Make sure you’ve selected the right variety for the job. Wheats suited to the mid-oct forwards slot should be those with proven performance, Autumn and Spring vigour

Be ready to flip your thinking

You may want to sow winter wheat then barley, depending what and where is drying out first.

View the late drilling infographic!

Varieties can still perform in later drilled slots.

Shown in the graph below are harvest 2019 yield results from two KWS November sown variety trials.