There’s not a lot of positive talk about a big, early break this season. Many growers are talking about dry sowing and are telling Crop Smart reps they are heading towards an earlier sowing date this season. Crop Smart’s JOE PEDLER has compiled a list of 5 things to consider before dry sowing, based on current industry research and information available to growers.
- Don’t forget weeds. Dry sowing is most likely to be successful in paddocks with low weed burdens (especially brome or ryegrass) or where weeds can be controlled in crop. Paddocks with low weed issues should take priority.
- Maximal length and soil temperature. The biggest benefit to dry sowing is that it maximises the length of the growing season. This reduces yield penalties and allows the plant to grow in warmer soil conditions, enabling good early vigour. Crops sown after a rain means seeds are planted into cooler soil temperatures.
- Yield gain. Recent trials in Western Australia have shown gains of up to 0.5t/ha are possible by early slowing.
- Frost was a big issue last season in places, especially South Australia’s Mid North and Eyre Peninsula. Early sowing can increase the risk of frost during critical stages.
- Variety choice. Sow different varieties to minimise risk and consider sowing a number of varieties that have a range of flowering dates and maturities.
*Please make sure you speak to your agronomist when considering dry sowing this season. Information sourced from the GRDC website. For more dry sowing tips read our latest Smart Farmer newsletter.