double sowing barley & winter wheat! add alfalfa? (fwd)

Victor Guest vic at
Thu Oct 20 10:33:13 EDT 1994

>i just read about the following kind of method:
>1/ spring, year 1: sow barley and winter wheat in two runs, use
>		   criss-cross method to reduce competition between
>		   barley & wheat. if available use variety of winter
>		   crop that doesn't need to be sown too densely.
>2/ autumn, year 1: harvest barley. winter wheat is lurking, hasn't
>		   developed much due to lack of vernalization. no tillage!
>3/ spring, year 2: winter wheat emerges.
>4/ autumn, year 2: harvest winter wheat.
>comments: savings in tillage, savings (earnings?!) in humus, savings in
>	  nutrients, environment less polluted by nutrients, better
>	  overwintering conditions for winter crop. tests indicate crops
>	  harvested are about the same size as those gotten using the
>	  "conventional" method in finland.
>isn't this cool? i for one am extremely excited about this, but i bet
>you people have been using this for years... if so, tell me about your
>experiences. btw, IMHO one should sow vetch or something as well in
>order to increase nitrogen levels and thus improve conditions for
>pulling the carbon - contained in the barley straw - into the tillage
>layer. i heard vetch can grow in this kind of shade.
>anybody know an even better nitrogen fixer that can grow in the shade?
>alfalfa would be highly cool, but i wonder if there would be enough
>space for it... if you've done this with alfalfa, tell me!
>"i abhor you pretentious insight. i respect conscious guessing
>because it consists of two good qualities: courage and modesty."
>-imre lakatos
>------- end of forwarded message -------

This type of combining was very useful, and is used to a lesser degree
today in our farming in W.A. 
It was a very good way to establish clovers and medicagos as pasture
with limited funds.
By simply adding to the the seed hopper, the idea was to provide enough
seed the following year to establish a nitrogen producing Pasture. Trials
by the Agricultural Dept were set up to demonstrate the loss of production
from the growing of the competitor. Most of "our" farms pasture was 
established this way. (325mm rainfall belt)
I wouldn't consider Lucerne (alfa alfa) in a cropping area as it needs time
to establish in a dryland situation. ( it's roots have been traced to 10         
There is a lot missing from your question as to what you are trying to 
achieve. Continuos cropping, ley farming, rainfall constraints, chemical 
People who use one pass broad acre techniques, supply nitrogen to the crop
to compensate for the nitrogen lost to the growing plant by the straw. 
breaking down. Leached nitrogen from this practice gets to our Waterways.

Victor Guest   V.G.Guest                      Perth, Western Australia
vic.guest at                         3 McKee Plce Kingsley. 6026
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