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Old Boggy

So much stubble left

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Having been in Norfolk for the last few days, I was surprised to see so much stubble still to be cultivated. Now I know some is left for partridge shooting that Norfolk is famous for, but overwintering of stubbles for Spring drilling sadly seems to be a thing of the past in my neck of the woods. I know that direct drilling rape on wheat stubble is more popular now, but the fields that I saw didn't appear to be direct drilled and were a pigeon shooters dream with birds everywhere. Perhaps too many birds spread over too many fields, but even so, a fine opportunity for someone to make some good bags. Probably why we read of such good bags made by the Norfolk boys.

The wheat stubble fields that I saw with many birds feeding were around the Horning to Ludham area with one particular field (mentioned previously) between Repps and Rollesby. This latter field was also attracting large numbers of greylags and the odd Egyptian geese.

Do Norfolk farmers still overwinter stubbles and carry out much Spring drilling ?

Just interested in different farming practices in differing areas.

OB

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In these parts the Black grass problem is so bad that most stubbles not needed to be cultivated for the sowing of rape are left over winter. Any Black grass which has germinated is sprayed off in March/April just before drilling. Winter sown crops are becoming a rarity.

One recently arrived flock of migrant pigeons spent all day yesterday on a wheat stubble, even feeding through heavy rain. If they are still there today I intend to disturb them a little.

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There was a farmer on the news this morning talking about this very subject, he went on to say that the weather this year as been the worst he can remember for sowing winter crops, at one point it was to dry for ploughing or direct drilling, then the rain started and has not stopped long enough for them to get on the fields.

I also have noticed large areas near me that are still stubble and on talking to a few farmers it looks like there will be a fair amount of spring sowing next year, with the exception of a few areas this situation seems to-be nation wide, I also got the impression from a few farmers that with all the problems they have had with rape a lot have/are removing it from their rotation, interesting times ahead for the pigeon shooter, although I don’t hold out much hope for a day on spring drilled seed as the drills are so efficient you do not get a lot on the top like you used to, mind you, I do get a little uplifted when I see a field of spring rape going in.

Like JDog said, we may be shooting a few stubble fields this year, bit like the old days of pigeon shooting.:)

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1 hour ago, JDog said:

In these parts the Black grass problem is so bad that most stubbles not needed to be cultivated for the sowing of rape are left over winter. Any Black grass which has germinated is sprayed off in March/April just before drilling. Winter sown crops are becoming a rarity.

One recently arrived flock of migrant pigeons spent all day yesterday on a wheat stubble, even feeding through heavy rain. If they are still there today I intend to disturb them a little.

We do have a black grass problem but obviously not quite so bad as other areas. Also, judging by the amount of rape grown hereabouts, flea beetle is very much contained as I understand in other areas this has resulted in less rape being grown.

I noticed last year that a small section of wheat sprayed off for black grass, resulted in the next years rape crop being boosted early on by the nitrogen fertilizer in the soil not taken up by the wheat, if that makes sense.

I hope, JDog, that your migrant pigeons are still there for you today.

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Same around here in Derbyshire it's too wet to plough or even direct drill. 

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56 minutes ago, old'un said:

Snip! - I also got the impression from a few farmers that with all the problems they have had with rape a lot have/are removing it from their rotation, interesting times ahead for the pigeon shooter,

Our oilseed rape yields were poor this year due to flea beetle, we were not allowed to use Neonicotinoids (rightly) and this is was the outcome.

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24 minutes ago, martinj said:

Our oilseed rape yields were poor this year due to flea beetle, we were not allowed to use Neonicotinoids (rightly) and this is was the outcome.

You having said that I was talking to a farmer last sept/oct and he was saying the chemicals they are allowed to use for beetle needs to-be done in the dark (at night) as the spray is contact and not systemic insecticide.

What with slugs, beetles, pigeons, etc, I can see why some are removing rape from their rotation.   

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A part of the answer is when you mentioned Partridge shooting , a lot of land is now let to game shooting and as the Pigeons are not doing to much harm the people who are renting the land don't really want people shooting pigeons , not all the land is let and then not all the stubble fields will hold pigeons , if they are chased about a bit to often they will soon find the fields that are left alone and numbers attract numbers , so that is why you will sometimes see a lot on some stubble fields and then a mile or two down the road you will see next to nothing .

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2 hours ago, Country Boy said:

How do we stand legally now if we decoy over these remains stubbles ??

Have a look at motty's report yesterday ( Old Beans Bonus ) on sporting pictures , that will tell you the answer .

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23 hours ago, marsh man said:

A part of the answer is when you mentioned Partridge shooting , a lot of land is now let to game shooting and as the Pigeons are not doing to much harm the people who are renting the land don't really want people shooting pigeons , not all the land is let and then not all the stubble fields will hold pigeons , if they are chased about a bit to often they will soon find the fields that are left alone and numbers attract numbers , so that is why you will sometimes see a lot on some stubble fields and then a mile or two down the road you will see next to nothing .

Thanks for clarifying that MM, I guessed partridge shooting to be some of the answer but now know why some stubble fields had pigeons and others not.

Also, further to your recent PM, you are quite right that there were many pinks among the greylags. I was too busy driving, but the wife took a photo as we passed and on further scrutiny, the geese over the far side of the field were all pinks.

OB

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