Reports of growers achieving 5t/ha oilseed rape crops were much more common this summer, but was there a common thread in how they were achieved? Did those growers use more fungicide sprays than those growing only 4t/ha crops, for example? Or was establishment method important?


To help investigate why top performing farms are just that, Farmers Weekly and Crops magazines are embarking on an exciting new project that will analyse cropping data collected from users of Farmade and Farmplan’s GateKeeper crop recording software.

GateKeeper is used by thousands of professional arable producers across the country covering millions of acres. Bringing this data together, under the GateKeeper Spotlight Initiative, will hopefully provide valuable information about field-scale performance of crops in the UK.

Initially the project will focus on winter wheat and oilseed rape crops, where with the help of Farmade, the arable team at Farmers Weekly will analyse data submitted to the initiative to investigate fundamental crop production issues, such as pesticide and fertiliser input levels to planting date and seed rate effect on yields.

GateKeeper Spotlight Initiative

• New project to analyse cropping data
• Data to be collected from GateKeeper users
• Opt-in to be part of project
• All data sent anonymously and will not be used for any other purpose 
Data will be collected from participating GateKeeper customers, who agree to be part of the project by simply ticking a box asking whether they would like to take part within the latest GateKeeper update.

Once participation has been indicated, GateKeeper will automatically send completely anonymous data about 2011 and 2012 crops to a central database four times during the year.

“Any data collected for this project will not be used for any other purpose and is completely anonymous throughout the process,” says Peter Henley, director of Farmade Management Systems.

“We hope that lots of GateKeeper customers will take part. The more data we can gather from farms, the more comprehensive the analysis and the more valuable the information for growers.”

The results of the data analyses will be published in Farmers Weekly and Crops magazine in the new year.