Wheat & Barley

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Wheat & Barley

Crop Rotation - Crop Development

  • As a Rule, Crop Rotation practices improve the performances of crops.
  • By varying crops in the same season, farmers can spread equipment demand throughout the season, reducing costs while increasing utilization.
  • Exploitation of soil fertility is improved, as different crops roots explore different layers of soil and use different nutrients.
  • Structure of soils improves, because residues from crop roots stay at different depths and residues are also different; sunflower roots may achieve 2-3 meters of depth, which is not common with other crops.
  • Management of weeds, pests, and diseases is easier when utilizing a crop rotation we can reduce chemical useage and losses. Crop specific diseases and pests are reduced or eliminated by the crop rotation because they are not provided with a regular food source.
  • Fallow / Set Aside is a practice still utilized in many areas of dry wheat cropping which enters in crop rotation. Used for large land area farms, and where chemicals are not available and there is limited moisture. Land is “resting” and planting is skipped to restore Organic Matter and moisture. It is used on maximum 20% Acreage.


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Tillage - Primary and secondary

  • Primary Tillage for sunflower is better carried out at fall. Primary tillage should begin right behind the combine.
  • A wide choice of tools are available for Primary Tillage
    - Moldboard plow
    - Chisel plows
    - Disk rippers
    - Offset disk
  • Secondary Tillage is carried out before drilling. The goal is to achieve a proper seedbed, which means soil particles of right size for good contact between seeds and soil. Right size is between 2-5mm.
  • Soil with a rough surface hinders proper seed germination and plant growth, ultimately leading to lost potential yield.
  • Large soil clods can cause drills to bounce. This makes it challenging to control planter depth and maintain seed placement accuracy for uniform plant spacing. This is an issue in conventional tillage, but is not a problem in Minimum Tillage.
  • Different heights in the soil surface result in variable moisture and temperature levels.
  • A good seed bed is important because it aids the plant in developing strong roots and provides access to water, oxygen, and nutrients.
  • The right soil-air-water balance helps plants to establish strong root structure which, among other effects:
    - Limits plant stress during drought periods
    - Improves plant water and soil utilization
    - Improves crop anchorage
  • Wheat requires good seed-to-soil contact and moderate soil moisture for germination and emergence. Generally, one or two passes with a disk harrow or soil finisher will produce an adequate seedbed if the soil is not too wet.
  • Different heights in the soil surface result in variable moisture and temperature levels.
  • It is better to wait until the soil dries sufficiently before preparing it for wheat, even if that means planting is delayed.


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Seeding - Drilling

  • Sod seeding allows a huge fuel economy improvement when compared with traditional seeding patterns. If properly carried out with proper machinery, a 50% reduction of costs is possible.
  • Sod seeding is adept in managing limited water resources, allowing a more strict management of soil moisture and keeping all the advantages of minimum tillage
  • Weed seeds are not turned up to surface every year, as in ploughing. This helps to decrease the number of weeds per square meter
  • Organic matteris not incorporated in all the layer of soil, but only in surface layers. This improves the soil structure of upper layers where the seed is first drilled: an important part of residues remains on surface, which seriously decreases damages from water and wind erosion
  • The practice of sod seeding requires the proper use of machinery in the full harvesting process. Either combines must be equipped with straw choppers or a baler must follow the combine to remove the straw from the fields
  • Maintaining a consistent structure of soils and fields is a requirement for sod seeding


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Crop Protection - Spraying

No Tillage is a practice promotes no disturbance of soil resulting in the least moisture losses of any tillage practice. No-Til is carried out using only an opener (knife) or disks drills.


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Harvesting

  • Grain moisture is about 13%, straw is completely dried up.
  • Wheat headers, rigid or flexible or draper can be used to reap wheat.


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