The most productive crops or pastures require a successful plant establishment, but that all depends on timely rainfall.
Sufficient moisture is fundamental.
But, there are a number of levers which can be pulled in an operation to better manage fallows and best prepare for planting.
There are some elements for consideration, and how each might affect an operation:
Maintain ground cover and soil moisture
During rainfall events, groundcover slows the speed of surface runoff allowing more time for infiltration.
Ground cover and old crop residues help protect the soil from erosion during heavy summer storms.
This is particularly important on steeper slopes or drainage lines where there is an increased erosion risk.
Decision to till the soil should always be well considered
Avoiding the use of tillage in fallow management enables an operation to benefit from ground cover in the system.
At times tillage may still be required in modern farming systems to provide another mode of action to kill weeds, reducing the reliance on herbicide and the risk of herbicide resistance within weed populations.
Know your planting equipment
Know what machinery is intended for use to plant and understand its limitations. Manage fallows accordingly to increase the chances of successful plant establishment.
Control your weeds
For those using no till methods, it is important to control weeds with registered herbicides used in accordance with the product label.
Farming systems should not rely on just one mode of action to kill weeds as this will inevitably result in herbicide resistance within the weed population.
Herbicides from different chemistry groups with varying applications should be used.
Some herbicides have a residual effect in the soil and different crops vary in their tolerance to residual herbicides.
Soil tests can give a good indication of the status of major nutrients in the soil.
Leaf tissue testing of previous crops is better to determine levels of trace elements.
It is important to understand the soil nutrient levels and future crop or pasture requirements well in advance of planting.
Select appropriate species
Consider climate, soil type and its limitations, grain markets or stock feed requirements, machinery and other infrastructure available when selecting crop or pasture species.
Any species planted in unsuitable growing conditions is destined to fail.
- Contact: 0429 217 066.