Joe Adams farms over 800 hectares of wheat just outside Daventry in Northamptonshire. A decision to move to continuous wheat five years ago was made in response to struggling to establish oilseed rape.
“We could no longer rely on oilseed rape as it had just become too much of a liability to establish with the loss of the neonicotinoids, so we had to look at what else we could do to maintain our rotational profitability”.
“We have always grown milling wheat which we sell onto various local and national grain merchants, and that has worked well for us so we decided to look at growing continuous wheat.”
“We used to grow Cordiale but moved over to Crusoe about nine years ago and now it is the only variety we grow across the farm. Crusoe has performed very well for us, and whilst the variety doesn’t have the highest yields of the Group 1’s, we can rely on it to consistently produce the protein spec of 13% that we are looking for.”
When moving over to continuous wheat, Mr Adams moved to slightly later drilling, around the first week of October, as this helped to manage take-all. However, he is now finding that the take-all pressure is abating so drilling has come back to about the third week of September.
Having moved over to a regen system last year, the wheat crop at Thrupp Farms is direct drilled within a CTF system. “All of our machinery works to a 12m tram line. It generally takes two weeks to get the whole farm drilled which in turn gives us a spread of harvest.”
“We don’t have a big black-grass problem, but any that does come up is sprayed-off or hand rogued. A robust fungicide programme supports the brown rust weakness of Crusoe, and we have never had any issues with it to date”.
Last year Mr Adams cut back on nitrogen from 250 kg/ha to 200kg/ha and still hit spec weight. This year he is looking at cutting that back even further to 180kg/ha and that will go on as liquid in a 4 way split and is applied variably.