SOYLseed can help you determine the right seed rate to ensure a healthy and profitable crop is achieved. Establishing a plant population that is too high can lead to overly thick canopies, increased lodging, higher disease pressure and unnecessary expenditure on seed. Seed rates that are too low will result in lower yields and higher weed pressure. Getting the right plant numbers starts with the correct seed rate.
As well as grain weight, drilling date and variety there are many variable factors that also need to be considered such as soil texture, stoniness, cloddiness and general seed bed quality. All of these can vary across a field. If this variation in the potential seed bed quality is mapped then a seed rate map can be produced that will deliver the optimum seed rate across the whole field.
Stage 1 - Conductivity Survey
A survey of the soil's physical properties is undertaken. This starts with a detailed electrical conductivity survey.
Conductivity has a correlation with clay content, soil depth, stoniness and moisture content. All of these factors are important in seed bed creation.
Stage 2 - Zoning
The conductivity map is used as the basis for undertaking a physical soil survey. Areas of similar conductivity values are zoned and then ground-truthed by an experienced soil scientist. (see map right)
Each zone is assessed for texture, stone content, soil depth to subsoil and compaction. This allows the creation of potential seed rate zones.
Stage 3 - Calculate Seed Rates
Each zone is assessed for the potential seed bed quality and plant losses that could occur over winter.
For example, an area of high clay content or high stone content may have high plant losses and therefore a higher seed rate is required to compensate for this.
The difference in potential establishment can be used to vary the seed rate around the default rate which is controlled by drilling date and thousand grain weight.
Stage 4 - Create Variable Rate Seed Application File
The variable seed rate map (right), once finalised, is converted into a digital file that is compatible with GPS kit used with a seed drill controller.
Key Benefits of SOYLseed
Improved crop management
Compatibility with seed drill controllers.
To find out more about variable rate seed, contact SOYL on 01635 204190.