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FAQ: Can I swap to a direct drill?

Q1: Can I switch to a direct drill right away?

A: In most cases, a direct "yes" is not advisable, unless you have sandy soil or are transitioning from an organic farming approach. Proper aeration, crucial for soil health, is often lacking in direct drilling, especially in heavier soils like clay.

Q2: What's the recommended transition approach?

A: Consider transitioning gradually, like the journey from traditional plough and harrow to strip tillage. Strip tillage offers a gentler shift, allowing the benefits of no-till and cover cropping to take effect over time. Remember, intelligent farming means doing what's necessary, not just what seems right at first.

Q3: What factors should influence my decision?

A: Your soil type, plans to increase organic matter, and the types of crops you intend to grow should influence your choice. Some crops, like oilseed rape, peas, and beans, may not fare well with direct drilling. Be patient and adaptable with your cropping plan.

Q4: Are there shortcuts for a quicker transition?

A: Yes, you can expedite the process. Establish a straw-for-muck exchange program for annual compost application. Invest in a low-disturbance subsoiler to aerate the soil before drilling, preventing compaction issues.

Q5: How long does it take to "earn the right" for direct drilling?

A: Doing it correctly can take several years. Gradual implementation is key to avoiding significant drops in yield while successfully adopting direct drilling into your farming practices.

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