Rye is underestimated, its economic potential is often not fully exploited – not only yield but also processing and marketing. As there is a wide range of processing possibilities, e.g. as grain, forage or wholecrop rye, a grower production strategy is needed. Selling, storing or feeding? SAATEN-UNION as one of the leading hybrid rye breeders wants to achieve with the project MyRye – growing with rye more transparency for all rye producers in order to simplify operational decisions.
Since 2013 wheat prices have fallen from 220 €/t to 150 €/t. High land rental prices, which have been agreed to in the hope of cereal prices remaining high, are posing an additional burden for the farms. Every farm manger should also ask himself: ”How can I react on this situation? Which further optimisation is still possible?”
The oncoming amendments of the fertiliser regulations will not only be achieved by reducing application rates. Dr. Ute Kropf (FH Kiel), Department of Agriculture, explains that if nitrogen rates are already tightly calculated it is necessary to improve nitrogen use from applied fertiliser as well as soil reserves.
Maize has comparatively low expectations in respect to soil and nutrient requirements but a relatively high temperature requirement. It only reaches crop maturity at harvest date if corresponding crop heat units and day time length demands are fulfilled. Maize product manager Henrike Wulfmeyer thinks that therefore in some regions only early varieties should be grown.
On the farm of Klemens, Markus and Agnes Schmeink catch crops have always been used in order to build up soil organic matter and to prevent erosion. The pilot project of the agricultural department of North-Rhine Westphalia for the water framework directive also puts a focus on efficient nitrogen usage.
Crop rotation diversity is the most important agronomical answer for a wide range of current challenges – reaching from plant protection issues, extreme weather conditions to the amendment of current fertiliser regulations. Thus, are crop rotations with less lucrative plant varieties viable? How does it influence humus content and nutrient balance? Sven Böse evaluated different crop rotations.
Whoever practices an intense forage maize crop rotation has to keep an eye on humus content, soil structure, erosion and nitrogen output. However, it is still possible with an intensive maize rotation to achieve a healthy soil and a good nutrient balance.
In comparison with cereals, maize as a C4-plant needs relatively less water per kilogramme dry matter. As the main growth however takes place in summer, maize reacts very quickly to a lack of precipitation. This means that one has to pull out all the stops to successfully grow maize on the sandy soils of southern Brandenburg with their low levels of precipitation.
Everyone is looking for the suitable biogas variety for optimal plant operation. But from today’s point of view, shouldn’t one preferentially ask for the optimum biogas variety for a specific plant type? What role does the biogas yield of a variety play here?
Longer chaff and at the same time breakdown all the grains – the shredlage procedure promises more structure and digestibility, and therefore more milk. The basic principle is not a new one – there are farms that have already been experimenting with it since the 1990s. A field report from Lower Saxony.
How will and must wheat quality change in the future? Is buying according to crude protein content and fall rates still up to date? These and other topics were the subject of discussion of the VDM Committee for Raw Materials and Markets, which met in September at SAATEN-UNION in Isernhagen.
After the establishment of the single seeding in cultures such as maize and sugar-beet, the focus has now turned to cereals. Here, the emphasis is on a practical solution with high field potential, the “precision drilling” varieties. First findings from practical field trials with wheat and rye make one sit up and take notice.
Catch crop growers with long-term experience know when mechanical tillage of catch crops is required or, if necessary, how can it be avoided. Greening specifications and the newly added catch crop varieties, however, call for us to consider this topic once again.
Deviations from the optimal sowing time and preceding crop are risky but cannot always be avoided. The SAATEN UNION production trials test sowing time tolerance, the suitability for mulch sowing and the performance as a wheat on wheat crop. To find the answers to these questions, there are varying tests during the production trials using different sowing times, preceding crops and soil processing techniques (Fig. 1). Crop protection and crop management are adjusted to the respective conditions and are the same for all the varieties.
Anyone wanting to earn money with wheat on an arid site with a soil rating of 30-40 must really do their maths. This makes the strategy of Felix Hanssen from Wischer bei Stendal even more fascinating: For 10 years he has relied on hybrid wheat, which in the meantime is grown on almost 90 % of his winter wheat fields!
How should nitrogen fertilisation take place when using conserving soil working techniques? A difficult question because arable land can look very different especially when a plough is not used. Dr. Konrad Steinert, LOP Landwirtschaft ohne Pflug (Agriculture without the Plough), explains the solutions.
No matter whether catch crops are used for erosion protection, nutrient preservation, for fighting nematodes or as efficient weed or weed grass suppression, a soil well penetrated by roots and a completely covered soil surface are essential.
The cereal price situation is demanding even better performing and cost-saving varieties. Only: No variety encompasses all the advantages. Therefore the crop cultivation businesses must weigh up and calculate the pros and cons.
With an increasingly limited N-supply, the grain protein performance becomes an important efficiency parameter. To what extent is the N-processing efficiency for winter wheat determined by the cultivation conditions, the variety and its quality classification?
Fertilisation is largely capped by the amended fertilisation ordinance in Germany; further yield increases are therefore only possible through increased nutrient efficiency. How can this characteristic be taken into consideration when choosing the variety? This question is raised in particular for quality wheat with regard to nitrogen as the limiting building block in protein synthesis.
Can Germany meet the requirements for “sustainable intensification” and is a positive development slowed down or promoted by the new fertilisation ordinance? Prof. Friedhelm Taube, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, makes a critical appraisal.
The main topics of the new fertiliser ordinance are the tightening of the N-requirement calculations, the N-balance surplus and the blocking periods for fertilisation. What are the consequences for legumes? Can they be used in crop rotation for nitrogen fixation?
It is often difficult for winter wheat after later clearing crops: on wet soil, it may be necessary for the seeds to be “plastered” in, the wheat starts badly, excellent yields are not to be expected. Often, it is impossible to sow at all in late autumn due to the weather. This calls for flexible solutions: hands-on experts discuss the option alternative wheat.
The growing of frost tolerant field peas is becoming more attractive, as new varieties promise greater cultivation reliability.
During the last 10-15 years, wheat for early seeding and wheat stubble has become available through breeding. This has created new variety types with a different yield structure and new production requirements: Josef Parzefall, NU Agrar GmbH.
SAATEN-UNION is now offering a tool to help with sowing hybrid wheat. It supports you from ordering hybrid wheat seed counts to controlling the stand at emergence.