The crops grown at Down Farm are collectively called ‘combinable crops’. The choice of crops depends mainly on economics (constrained by climate and soil type), but in order to minimise disease carry over from year to year we rotate the crops.
This is typically wheat-wheat-barley-oilseed rape (canola).
The OSR is known as a ‘break crop’ being a brassica not a cereal.
We also rotate a proportion of spring cropping with the barley usually being a spring sown crop. The spring sown crops afford wildlife cover in the period September to February, when the autumn sown crops are emerging from the bare ground.
Mature compost being loaded into the spreader.
Compost being spread onto barley stubble, prior to establishing a crop of spring wheat.
After compost spreading, the field is ploughed.
Seed being sown.
A crop of OSR (Oil Seed Rape) in the early stages of growth. Note, the wheelmarks are from intruders who have been ‘hare coursing’ on the land.
The crop of OSR flowering and will soon be ready for harvest.
The above photo is a crop of barley. The dead foliage in the foreground is where we have used roundup to create a margin between the crop and the weeds in the margin. This makes for a cleaner crop for the combine, and stops the weeds spreading too far into the crop. This photo will have been taken in early summer.
Barley in ear.
Combine Harvester in action.