Robert Payne Partners - Alpaga Winter Linseed
Produced with the kind permission of Tim Payne
The rain has slowed autumn growth of the plants; however, most plants are starting to put out side branches. The wet weather has meant the crop has had nothing applied to it since sowing (except slug pellets) and it still looks quite clean.
High levels of straw in one of the fields has meant that emergence is uneven. In addition, patches of blackgrass have emerged in this field because of the late rain triggering germination. Due to the weather, no graminicide has been applied and it is now too late to apply Centurion max. If the blackgrass becomes too big to be controlled in the spring, then there is a possibility that it may better to spray the crop off with Glyphosate. The other field seems to have come through the high straw conditions, remaining clean and ready for winter (see below).
Since sowing until the 2nd December there has been 224 mm of rain recorded by the Sencrop weather station. The download below highlights the frequency of this rainfall. Average temperatures are starting to drop to 9.2°C, with a wide diurnal variation (see weather data below).
Rain has helped establishment and the linseed is now up in rows and the first set of true leaves are emerging. Crops are looking well, but there are some signs of slug damage in the fields with higher levels of surface straw, but the fields are too wet to travel. Post-emergence herbicide applications are also to be applied. However, surface straw from the previous crop has provided good ground cover, whilst the linseed is small and has low weed competition, to repress weed germination.
This year a repeat on-farm trial of micronutrient application to linseed is being run on the farm. Last year a trial of a zinc product, kindly provided by S-Chelate Plant Nutrition. The Chelate agent used in S-Chelate Plant Nutrition products is produced through a biological fermentation process, instead of a synthetic chemical process, and therefore the product does not build up in the environment and is better for it. The zinc product was applied to the crop to the seed bed and at green bud, linseed is known to require the micronutrient zinc for rooting and branching. Encouraging rooting and branching early on builds yields, and maximising branching means there are more branches for capsules to form on. Linseed yield is built at flowering, as with oilseed rape, and a late application was applied at the same time as the balance of nitrogen is applied to help feed yield. The farm was split into treated and untreated areas, and a tissue test was taken by Premium Crops to see if greater quantities of zinc were found in the treated areas. Unfortunately, results were inconclusive, this year again in partnership with S-Chelate Plant Nutrition a wider range of micronutrients will be applied to the crop at different timings and a tissue test taken again.
For more information on S-Chelate Plant Nutrition visit https://www.s-chelate.com/
Rain has continued to fall, 66.3mm of rain been recorded by the Sencrop weather station in October alone. Average temperatures remain relatively mild at 11.5°C, with day temperatures pushing high teens (see weather data below).
Sowing Date: 13th September 2019
Sowing Conditions: Direct drilled using a weaving drill into the previous crop of wheat stubble. The wheat straw was not baled, which has helped conserve moisture in the seedbed in a dry year. Premium Crops would normally advise against drilling into high levels of straw as it can reduce crop establishment due to poorer seed to soil contact. No pre-emergence herbicides were applied to this crop.
Four days after sowing the seed could be found in the seedbed and was sowing signs of germination.
Premium Crops have established a network of Sencrop weather stations at our Montor Farm locations. The weather stations provide a live-feed of the rainfall and temperature at each site. The details recorded at Robert Payne Partnerships' farm to the 4th December 2019 are given below...
The data recorded at this site will be updated at regular intervals throughout the growing season.