Peas sprouting at our Demofarm: plants on ploughed area under weevils’ attack, situation better on direct drilled plot

Piibe Vaher

Friday, May 3, 2024

Share on Facebook
0
Share on LinkedIn

We wanted to grow winter oilseed rape at eAgronomi demo farm this year, but due to the winter frost that destroyed our plants, we had to make changes in our sowing plan (read more about it from our previous blog post). 

As cereal had been grown on the field for the previous three years, our options were limited. First solution that we thought of was to sow peas to the whole area, which we planned to grow on four plots out of five anyway. This plan did not feel appealing - we want to learn as much as possible with our trials. Thus, we decided to replace the winter oilseed rape with a permanent undersow of white clover. We planted the white clover variety Rivendel at 10 kg/ha in two ways: half of the field was sown with a harrow and small seed drill and the other half with a direct drill.

Peas were planted on the remaining four plots. We sowed four varieties (Respect, Alvesta, Aurelia and Bagoo) next to each other so that we could monitor the differences over the season. In the Bagoo area, we are also conducting a seed rate trial - we used norms of 60, 80, 100 and 120 germinating seeds per m2.

A video about our pea sowing that took place on the 6th of May.

We used Horsch Serto for sowing. This drill has a working width of 10 metres and a row spacing of 16.7 cm. Serto has 2 rows of disc seeders and a 6 000 litre seed hopper which can be divided into two (60:40) allowing fertiliser to be sown with the seed.

Peas on direct drilled plot have less damage from weevils

The peas have sprouted, but the development of the plants is affected by pea weevils, who have become active due to the hot weather. The situation is worse in the ploughed area, where in some places the leaves of the plants have been eaten extensively and there is significant  damage to the recently germinated plants.

Damage caused to the pea plant by weevils on the ploughed area.

On the direct drilled plot, the damages are less severe and only some new leaves have a few spots that have been eaten. We used insecticide to control weevils on 17th of May, but we plan to repeat it due to the extensive damage and the abundance of weevils. On the pea fields, we are also using three solutions of herbicide methods: pre-emergence, post-emergence and a combination of both.

Damage by weevils is noticeably lower on areas of minimal tilling and direct drilling.

Sprouting on the ploughed area.

Sprouting on the area of minimal tilling.

Sprouting on the direct drilled plot.

Paul-Tech sensors help us monitor the situation in real time

We also installed three soil sensors to the field; they are placed on ploughed, reduced tilling and direct drilling areas. Paul-Tech sensors allow us to monitor soil moisture, nutrient movement, availability, and soil temperature. In addition, the sensors inform us about weather conditions and also send us automatic alerts when conditions are likely to stress the plants (high air temperature, drought stress, etc.).

Paul-Tehc’s soil sensor observing the situation.

We buried cotton underwear and will plant a flower strip soon

We wanted to assess soil health in a slightly different way. A pair of cotton underwear was buried in three areas where we are experimenting with tillage practices and after about 12 weeks we will be able to see how ploughing, minimal tilling and direct drilling have affected the rate of decomposition.

A pair of cotton underwear that were buried.

In the near future, we plan to sow a strip of flowering plants along the edge of the field which will act as a barrier between the field and the non-agricultural area. It will also increase biodiversity by providing habitat for beneficial insects and food for pollinators. 

About eAgronom’s demo farm

In autumn 2023, eAgronom and Rannu Seeme signed a cooperation agreement in which our trial farm was born. eAgronom is responsible for farming 20 hectares of land in Rannu, Estonia. Our farm is managed by following conservation agriculture practices and our aim is to get real hands-on experience about adopting new practices to a farm with the goal of increasing profitability. Our field is going to be direct drilled with control plots of 1 ha plowed and 1 ha minimally tilled each year. In addition, we grow cover crops before spring crops and we surround the field with a strip of wildflowers and green fallow crops. We are following a 5 year rotation of: winter oilseed rape → winter wheat → peas → winter wheat → barley. 

You can find more results and  info about eAgronom's demofarm here.
Share on Facebook
0

Earn high-quality carbon credits and future-proof your farm.

We can help you to generate additional revenue streams, improve soil quality, and access better financing.

Get in touch

Get in touch

Get in touch

Get in touch

Have any questions?

Project is financed by the Republic of Estonia

The project was funded by the Entrepreneurs Support Program for Applied Research and Product Development (RUP).

Project name:

Software Technology and Applications Competence Centre (STACC)

Have any questions?

Project is financed by the Republic of Estonia

The project was funded by the Entrepreneurs Support Program for Applied Research and Product Development (RUP).

Project name:

Software Technology and Applications Competence Centre (STACC)

Have any questions?

Project is financed by the Republic of Estonia

The project was funded by the Entrepreneurs Support Program for Applied Research and Product Development (RUP).

Project name:

Software Technology and Applications Competence Centre (STACC)

Have any questions?

Project is financed by the Republic of Estonia

The project was funded by the Entrepreneurs Support Program for Applied Research and Product Development (RUP).

Project name:

Software Technology and Applications Competence Centre (STACC)

ISO 27001 BUREAU VERITAS Certification