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US Technology in the Cotswolds

The No Till Crimper Roller is standard farm machinery in arable America but as far as we are aware our experiment at Honeydale Farm this weekend is among the first times that one has been used in the UK.

As the name implies, the Crimper Roller offers a way of terminating cover crops with no till; by avoiding the need for spraying, mowing and ploughing, it’s a much cheaper and faster method. It relies on having a bulky cover crop which is then crushed, the flattened plants forming a mulch on top of the soil which keeps weeds at bay and also allows new seeds to come through. Ingenious

This weekend marked our first attempt at controlling our winter cover crop of rye and vetch. The trick is to find the ‘Goldilocks Moment’ when the plants are just right to terminate, in other words when they are old enough to remain flat once rolled, but not too old to seed. 
We have rolled one trial strip in our cover crop to start with but as we suspected, we were a little too early and some of the plants may recover. We will be repeating the process weekly until we have determined the correct stage to terminate, so tune in next Monday to find out what happens!

Date Posted: 23rd May 2016


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