Training Kit 4.5 
 

MANAGING THE CEREAL CROP

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Photo No. 30 

The cereal crop planted on the seedbed prepared with the scarifier, harrow, and combine seeder will germinate and grow in winter and spring.

Photo No. 31

In summer your crop is ready to harvest for the grain.

 

Photo No. 32 

After the grain harvest some of the cereal straw is cut and stored for feeding to the sheep in winter.

Straw and green medic during winter provides an excellent feed.

 

Photo No. 33

The cereal stubble can be grazed during the summer in the usual way.

Most of the medic pods containing the seed reserve will be in the top two or three centimetres of the soil where the sheep will not be able to eat them.

A few will be on the surface and will be eaten by the sheep.

Provided you left a good reserve in the previous summer this should not cause any difficulties.

Snail medic has a large pod that is easily consumed by sheep.

If they are digging them out of the ground it is better to stop grazing and use the cereal straw for winter feed.

 

Photo No. 34 

During the late summer, phosphate fertiliser at the rate of 100 kg per ha of triple phosphate is broadcast on the stubble to fertilise the next medic pasture.

When the rains come in aurumn it will be washed into the soil and will be used by the medic plants.

There is no need to cultivate the soil in any way.

Photo No. 35 

With the autumn rain a new medic pasture will germinate from reserves of seed that remained in the pods in the top two or three centimetres of the soil.

Any pods buried deeper than that will not germinate and that part of your seed reserves will be lost.

Provided you have used shallow cultivation with tined implements for your cereal crop the bulk of the seed reserves should be in the top few centimetres.

Photo No. 36 

You must not plant two cereal crops in succession on the same land.

If you do, you will use up all the medic seed reserve in the soil.

There will be very little seed left for another medic pasture after the second cereal crop.  

Photo No 37

The best thing to do is to have part of the farm in medic pasture and part in cereals each year.

Change over in the following year so the medic regenerates in the cereal stubble and the medic is cultivated for cereals.

If the medic pasture and sheep are more profitable you can leave the medic pasture for more than one year.

 

Photo No. 38

Remember that no nitrogen fertiliser is needed by the cereal crop that is sown after medic pasture.

This will save you money.  

Photo No. 39

Remember that preparing the seedbed with a scarifier and harrow is cheaper and keeps the medic pods near the surface.

Photo No. 40 

Using a combine seeder fitted with tines saves you the cost of one quarter of your cereal seed.

The fertiliser will also produce a better response when sown with the seed.  

Photo No. 42

Your cereal will yield more and cost less to produce.

  

Photo No. 43

And you medic pasture will regenerate from the seed reserves year after year.
  

Further information and links

For information on more efficient cereal harvesting.
 

For small farmers the stripper provides a better alternative as well as the chaff and straw for the animals.