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Sowing the crop


Sowing the crop

Set up and check drill operation on a part of the field yet to be sown - never check over grass where any spilt seed is difficult to clear up. Be aware of the risky conditions ahead of drilling, such as stony or cloddy soils, or where there might be a lot of surface trash.

Seed not covered by the drill

Drills cannot perform properly on poor seedbeds. Even on better-prepared fields, conditions on headlands can especially in corners can be less than ideal, causing the drill to leave seed uncovered.

Always use a drilling technique that places treated seed into the soil and never broadcast or autocast (this is not permitted on seed treatment labels).

Best drilling practice - top tips

After drilling

Before leaving a drilled field, check areas where there is greatest risk of seed remaining uncovered. In particular, check cobbly areas of fields, headlands and corners. Also recheck areas where the drill was filled, set up and emptied. Bury any visible seed.

Also check the main body of the field for areas of poor seed cover. If there are large areas of exposed seed, the only solution is to harrow and then roll as advised by product labels.


Advantages of sowing headlands last when using cereal drills.

After drilling, continued:

It is good practice to keep a record of the drilling operation to show diligence and to confirm that seed coverage has been checked. There's an example on page18 in the stewardship guide.

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