Direct drilling of winter cereals


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In crop rotations where winter cereals follow a crop harvested in autumn, it may be difficult to prepare the seedbed.
The cereal can be directly sown, skipping the seedbed preparation, if the preceding crop left the soil well structured and free from weeds.
Direct drilling has achieved results similar to conventional sowing techniques (including seedbed preparation) if the soil is well structured. Practical recommendations Observations and practical tips • Pay attention to the soil structure when applying any mechanical operation. During the harvest, offloading should take place at the headlands. • In the case of a high presence of deep-rooting weeds, choose a double-layer soil preparation (instead of compacting the soil) in order to increase porosity. • Avoid sowing if heavy rains are expected in the next 5-6 days. • Include cover crops in the rotation to improve soil structure. Cover crops are a key element to fine-tune direct drilling techniques. • Directly drilled soil warms up more slowly in springtime. An early harrowing in springtime to facilitate nitrogen mobilization is recommended. • Avoid crop residue coming into contact with the seeds (see link on hairpinning on page 2). • To reduce the risk of mycotoxins, implement appropriate crop rotations and avoid sowing more than one winter cereal in a row or a winter cereal on corn residues with direct drilling.
Cropping systems and crop specific
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