Reducing the risk of dormant seed
Simon Beddows Manager of Coppid Farming Enterprises, Dunsden Green Reading, Berkshire
We have been missing out on all the heavy showers others have been getting and have only had 2mm of rain in June and 20mm in July; August is looking like it might be slightly better with 9mm over the weekend.
Harvest is pretty much done; we finished the wheat at the time we would just be starting in a “normal” year. However due to the 2018 drought all cultivation is on hold until we get sufficient rain. Better to make use of predation and denigration of the seed by radiation and the high temperatures than run the risk of burying dormant seeds. This is especially important after WOSR where we always leave it for 2-3 weeks following harvest.
When we do get some moisture in the soil we will be going into our second season of micro-tilling, where we are really just cultivating the top two inches of soil. This moves a lot less soil than we used to with “minimal tillage” and so reduces the amount of weeds germinating.