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Top tips for remedial action

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  • 3 min read
Once the Miscanthus has been cut, baled and stored our attention turns to getting the best from next year’s crop. The next four to six weeks provides you with the perfect opportunity to carry out any remedial action that may be required. Here are our top tips on how to make a difference.
Remedial work falls into 3 main groups. They are:
1) Soil testing
2) Weed control
3) Compaction and remedial work

Soil testing

We would recommend that this is routinely carried out every 4 years. This can be done inexpensively at around £10 per sample and your agronomist / fertiliser supplier will normally do this for you (if you don’t know of a lab, Terravesta can give you details of some).  Best practice is to sample good areas as well as less favorable areas within a field and also different soil types within the same field, naming them so you can identify them in future years. The number of samples required per field will be determined by the difference in crop performance and soil type.
The soil test results will enable you to see if there are any nutrient deficiencies in the soil that need resolving. At best, a good result will exclude the need for costly fertilisers and allow you to exclude nutrition as a cause of any problems – it could also show up nutrition as part of the reason for a problem. If you would like any assistance to interpret your results, please contact Terravesta on 01522 731873.

Weed control

Now is the time to evaluate if any additional weed control is required. Here, time is of the essence as it is important to get the Roundup on before new shoots emerge or open up to expose new leaf growth.  The pictures below illustrate when it is OK to spray and when it is not advisable to spray.

Compaction & remedial work

In older, well-established crops, we are seeing compaction beginning to limit the crops productivity. The compaction may have been caused by cutting and baling in wet conditions or where bales may have been stacked on the field or even excess turning/traffic due to awkward field shapes.  The only way to alleviate this is by sub-soiling, if the soil conditions allow.

Crops that are thin or have small gaps can be thickened by sub-soiling and ground cultivation in order to spread the rhizomes into the empty spaces. If you feel that this is something you may wish to consider, please contact Terravesta for advice on the most appropriate methods for your soil type.

Where you have large gaps, sub-soiling and thickening will not be enough to fill these and it could be worth considering infill replanting. Once again it may be worth booking a visit from us to assess the issues and soil type you have.