Introduction to Crop Husbandry. Including Grassland by J. A. R. Lockhart, A. J. L. Wiseman

By J. A. R. Lockhart, A. J. L. Wiseman

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Organic matter—especially as humus—is very beneficial because it helps to hold water and plant nutrients in the soil. On properly limed fields it breaks down very rapidly because the soil micro-organisms are very active in these open-textured soils which have a good air suppIrrigation can be very important on the coarser sands, but very fine sandy soils have a very good available-water capacity. In some sandy areas the surface soil is liable to "blow" in dry, windy weather and so could destroy a young crop.

If the soil is very dry and hard at harvest time, some irrigation can make harvesting easier and there is much less tuber damage. (See also p. ) Sugar beet. It may be necessary to irrigate a very dry seed bed to obtain a fine tilth, even germination and better action with soil-acting herbicides. After this it is not usually necessary to irrigate until the leaves start meeting across the rows (sugar beet is deep-rooted). It can start with applications of about 25 mm and later up to 55 mm at one application on the high AWC soils when SMD is over 100 mm.

Table 6 gives an indication of spacing requirements but it must be understood that there are often great varia­ tions in subsoil texture and structure between and within fields on a farm. 5 m apart; 50-70 m m deep). Very good Very heavy clays (moles last about structure and 5 years) 60-160 stability Moderate Clays, clay loams (moles last about stability 3 years) 30-60 Poor Mole channels collapse quickly stability subsoil every 1-2 years 10-30 and examining the subsoil can be very helpful in deciding how the field should be drained.

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