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Straw Incorporation

Managing pH when incorporating straw The benefits of straw incorporation may be compromised if pH drops in response to organic matter breakdown stimulated by microbial activity, releasing of natural organic acids and increased nitrogen

mineralisation. While the absolute values can be debated, real effects will be seen when pH drops below 6.3 on a mineral soil. An application of LimeX can help

Nutrient efficiency (utilisation) Soil pH

N

P

K

4.5

30%

23%

33%

5.0

53%

34%

52%

5.5

77%

48%

77%

6.0

89%

52%

100%

7.0

100%

100%

100%

counter those effects and contribute to the input of organic matter by maintaining macro and micronutrient availability that is optimal at or around pH 7 on a mineral soil. LimeX will also increase the level of available calcium within the soil. The fine particle size of LimeX, with at least 85 per cent passing through a 150 micron sieve, ensures even distribution. Furthermore, the nutrient package within LimeX contributes to maintaining soil fertility by supplyingP2O5, MgO and SO3. For example, a maintenance application of LimeX70 at 7.5/t ha will supply a

LimeX70 applied to cereal stubble pre cultivation

minimum of 75g P2O5, 50kg MgO and 45kg SO3 which are typically worth around £75/ha. LimeX is available to order now for spring, summer and autumn delivery and can be used in conventional and organic farming systems. ■

Work with nature Effective straw incorporation starts at the cutterbar and straw needs to be fed evenly into the combine if it is to be chopped evenly, says Remac. Every season has different soil conditions but working with nature can achieve an effective chit with no need to use heavy machines, says the company which produces the RemacSystem Soil Loosener: “It’s a myth that the soil needs to be mixed any more than 25-50mm deep.

Instead sun, wind and rain can help to speed up the breakdown of straw encouraging a successful chit of weed and volunteer seeds.” Working in the straw and small seeds too deep - 60mm or more below the surface - will slow up incorporation and carry over weed seed which will chit later in the season, it says. “This can compromise the current year’s crop and incur extra costs.”

A light surface cultivation helps to control slugs, positioning soil to be in contact with the straw and oxygen to accelerate the breakdown process. Remac advises loosening the soil where required and to consider using a cover crop to stabilise. Depending on residues and prevailing conditions, an early application of Nitrogen can kick-start the breakdown even further.

A light surface cultivation helps to control slugs, positioning soil to be in contact with the straw and oxygen to accelerate the breakdown process.

Vector Primary Stubble Cultivator The most flexible solution on the market for shallow to deep cultivation in one machine Hydraulic-depth-Control on the go for non-stop working The double STS-Roller leaves a level surface, ready for drilling

Contact in the UK- Steve Berry Phone: 01256 - 384208 Mobile: 07860 - 663104 | www.koeckerling.de

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