Introduction – Issue 7

A very warm welcome to this new issue of Direct Driller. There’s much to get your teeth into, including topics that are new but highly relevant. A glimpse into the future shows new crops on the cusp of becoming commercial. Why, for example, have we yet to realise the potential of rye? And in the longer term, what are the chances of growing perennial wheat in the next 20 years?

I like magazines which surprise me, and this one certainly does, with topics far removed from data technology, satellites, drones, robots etc. Here we have features which look at progress and technology which have yet to hit either the farming or national press headlines. This issue has its feet very much on the ground.

Contributors have real experience and expertise in both the practice and science of using and managing soil. Those planning to start No-till will find James Warne provides dozens of tips on pg 56. On pg 84 Andy Howard has some startling figures about real farm profitability. Those farmers whose cropping is restricted to the three cereals and osr may well find ‘buckwheat’, ‘phacelia’, burseem clover’ and so on somewhat daunting. Yet they make a valuable contribution to farming systems, so it’s worth getting acquainted with these strangers!

This issue of Direct Driller shows that the pace of change in the industry is not confined to electronics and mechanics. Once again we must thank those very many people in companies, institutes, universities who choose to support us, and of-course the numerous farmers who share their thoughts and farming methods. They all help to make this publication essential reading.

If you have something important to say do please get in touch with Clive or Chris – or me –