Carre Introw strip tiller has finally arrived; set at our sugar beet spacing it is 6m or 12 row machine. Originally designed or specified to drill two cover crop types at the same time with fertiliser for the sugar beet, recent experience with cover crops in front of beet this year has curtailed our enthusiasm a bit until we know more about what is an extremely complicated subject. The plan is to strip till about 40% of our 2018 beet area with the machine this year with about 10% of that using cover crops. The remaining area will be done more conventionally with min till.
First job will be to help establish our small but important return to Oilseed Rape growing after we dropped the crop in 2016. We are going to try a very limited area strip tilling in the seed while placing DAP underneath in the strip tilled rows. The purchase of a second hand but reasonably intact front mounted hopper has given us the means to do seed/fert plus micro seeds/pellets as we see fit.
We will see ! Long term we remain very committed to strip tillage for the sugar beet as we see it as a way of extending the crop onto our heavier soils and giving us the right ground conditions to lift later. (we may even try some winter beans at 50cm rows)