Arable top stories

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: OSR looks promising but threatened by pigeons

I like a challenge, as I’m sure most people do, but 2020 is far too generous in giving them out. I’m now entering the fourth autumn of my tenancy here…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Why some farms will suffer under post-Brexit pesticide rules

Northern Ireland's arable farmers could eventually end up being unable to benefit from pesticide products used by growers in the rest of the UK, under the latest blueprint for the…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: The irrigators are on already

For us here at Valetta, the entire autumn and winter lamb finishing programme comes together in the space of about six weeks. Lambs come off green feed winter crops, go…

HARVEST AND CROP STORAGE

How to dry grain more efficiently in a wet harvest

With showery summers predicted to become more common, now is a good time to appraise grain-drying facilities and reinvest where necessary to help deal with any extreme seasons to come.…

SOILS

How regenerative farming cut fixed costs by 40% in first year

It is safe to say Nick Padwick isn’t looking for a long transition to farming using regenerative agricultural principles at Ken Hill Farms and Estate, near Snettisham. With an immediate…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: My name is Andrew and I'm an early driller

“My name is Andrew, and I'm an early driller” wrote a Kent farmer friend recently in a parody of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. So should I be pleased or embarrassed…

Arable news

ARABLE

Gene editing expected to gather momentum after Brexit

Moves to facilitate the development of gene editing once the UK is free from EU regulation at the end of the year will provide a real boost to researchers and…

OILSEED RAPE

Wet weather triggers early onset of phoma in OSR

Recent warm and wet weather has heightened the risk of phoma in winter rapeseed, with some crops already displaying symptoms in 10% of the crop, according to the AHDB’s disease…

BLACKGRASS

Low-drift nozzles key to pre-em herbicide spray drift

Low-drift nozzles could help growers get more from their pre-emergence herbicide applications, with the potential for persistent and gusty winds disrupting spraying operations in the coming weeks. With the climate…

DRILLING

Rain prompts fears of repeat wet autumn

Rain and stormy weather have prompted concern that UK farmers could be in for a repeat of last year’s wet autumn. Eastern England is experiencing heavy rain and strong winds…

More articles

Explore arable Know How

  • Business advice
  • Essential guides
  • Practical tips
  • Case studies
Explore all topics

Latest from arable Know How

See all

HARVEST AND CROP STORAGE

How to dry grain more efficiently in a wet harvest

With showery summers predicted to become more common, now is a good time to appraise grain-drying facilities and reinvest where necessary to help deal with any extreme seasons to come.…

SOILS

How regenerative farming cut fixed costs by 40% in first year

It is safe to say Nick Padwick isn’t looking for a long transition to farming using regenerative agricultural principles at Ken Hill Farms and Estate, near Snettisham. With an immediate…

HARVEST

Analysis: Cost of extreme weather on 2020 crop performance

The weather extremes in the hugely difficult 2019-20 cropping season provided a unique test of crop performance, with some new winter wheat varieties showing promise. From some of the wettest…

VARIETY SELECTION

Two growers' experiences with March-drilled winter wheat

Wheat varieties that can be drilled very late came to the rescue for growers struggling to get any winter cereals into the ground last season because of the extremely wet…

SUGAR BEET

How the new sugar beet contract shares virus yellows risk

Sugar beet growers are set to benefit from some brand new features contained in the 2021 contract, which resulted from negotiations between British Sugar and NFU Sugar. Described as ground-breaking…

SOILS

How to accurately measure the organic carbon content of soil

How to measure organic carbon in soils and, even more importantly, accurately measure how it changes over time, are major challenges in the potential development of new income streams for…

SOILS

Regenerative farming: The theory and the farmers doing it

Regenerative agriculture provokes strong opinions and passionate debate. There are those who are sceptical of the claims being made in its name, while others have completely bought into the idea…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Is there still a need for costly wheat seed treatments?

Cereal growers are increasingly questioning the need for chemical seed treatments as they continue to improve soil health, encourage soil biology and drive down costs. With autumn drilling under way,…

POTATOES

Four new potato products offer hope to growers

A range of new potato products will soon be available to growers, equipping them with an improved chemical armoury to control blight, weeds and soil-borne pests. More than 10 actives…

SOILS

5 ways a Lincs estate is improving its soil management

Balancing good soil management and health with the short-term interests of a large-scale commercial farming business is difficult to manage. However, one Lincolnshire estate has been implementing a long-term plan…

ROTATIONS

How one Northants farmer is using cost maps to cut crop risk

Mapping which parts of a field will lose money for a given crop is proving to be a valuable risk management tool for one Northants farmer, leading to better cropping…

TECHNOLOGY

Round-up of 9 arable apps that can benefit farmers

Whether it’s selecting which varieties to drill, using data to determine input timings or ensuring machinery and equipment is safe to use, there is a constant supply of new apps…

COVER CROPS

Why a farmer is establishing catch crops with a sprayer

A farmer in Lincolnshire is trialling a new way of sowing catch crops, by adapting his sprayer to sow the seed in a standing crop of vining peas. Arable farmer…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Why wildflowers could cut aphid-spread viruses in potatoes

Wildflowers grown in strips through potato crops could control disease-carrying aphids and may help growers faced with a dwindling number of insecticides. Areas of wildflowers grown in the headlands and…

PULSES

Key tips for growing winter beans after a poor season

Variable yields and dismal quality results saw winter beans become one of the worst-performing crops on many farms this year – a victim of very late drilling in less-than-ideal conditions…

WEED MANAGEMENT

How to control problem weed speedwell on chalky soils

Herbicide-resistant speedwell is becoming an increasing problem on the chalky downlands of southern England and has prompted the revival of an old contact-acting weedkiller. The widespread use of sulfonylurea (SU)…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: OSR looks promising but threatened by pigeons

I like a challenge, as I’m sure most people do, but 2020 is far too generous in giving them out. I’m now entering the fourth autumn of my tenancy here…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: The irrigators are on already

For us here at Valetta, the entire autumn and winter lamb finishing programme comes together in the space of about six weeks. Lambs come off green feed winter crops, go…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: My name is Andrew and I'm an early driller

“My name is Andrew, and I'm an early driller” wrote a Kent farmer friend recently in a parody of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. So should I be pleased or embarrassed…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Still haven't started winter wheat drilling

What a time to commence this column in such an uncertain, unpredictable period for agriculture. We farm on an area of sandy clay loam with high stone content and high…

Crop Watch

See all

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: Windy harvest sees greater volunteer threat

Weed control is the focus for our agronomists this week, with farmers advised to only drill when conditions allow the immediate application of pre-emergence herbicides. Grassweeds are proving to be…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: Blackgrass surge and OSR herbicide cut-offs

There are worrying amounts of blackgrass emerging through the crops that have already been drilled, which will test pre-emergence herbicide stacks this autumn and may lead to some growers wishing…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: BYDV in cereals and phoma in OSR

Cereal drilling has started earlier this year and aphids are being easily found in early-drilled cereal crops, bringing the risk of barley yellow dwarf virus. Sprays may be needed to…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: Weed and disease fears for early-drilled wheat

Oilseed rape crops are looking surprisingly good, with the cabbage stem flea beetle attacks being less severe than last year. However, concerns are growing that farmers are being tempted to…

Markets

See all

BUSINESS

Early straw auction sees prices rocket

Exceptional demand for straw saw average prices rocket to more than £130/t at one of the first auctions of the year. In response to demand from trade buyers struggling to…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Wheat price rally gathers pace

The wheat price rise continues, with London’s May 2021 feed wheat futures contract closing above £190/t for the first time this week. This morning saw the November feed wheat futures…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Brexit: Seed potato sector on brink of EU and NI export ban

Britain’s seed potato sector is in turmoil, with just 10 weeks before exports to Europe and Northern Ireland (NI) face a total ban under a no-deal Brexit. As an EU…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Straw values continue to rise in varying regional market

Straw values have risen by about £15/t over the past month, with many arable farmers continuing to hold off selling in the hope of further increases. The British Hay and…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Volatility the only certainty in grain and oilseeds markets

Markets are being driven by political and economic uncertainty, with the only sure thing this coming winter being a high degree of volatility. That volatility is already attracting record levels…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

EU trade deal could see tariff-free sugar quota scrapped

Plans to introduce a new tariff rate quota (TRQ), allowing greater access for raw cane sugar from global suppliers, could be scrapped if there is a free-trade deal with the…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Defra's estimate 2020 UK wheat crop is lowest since 1981

Defra’s first estimate of the UK’s 2020 wheat crop has come in at 10.1m tonnes – 37.5% lower than 2019, well below the five-year average of 15.1m tonnes and the…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Weather, currency and crop sizes keep wheat price firm

Firm wheat prices are being maintained in a nervous market, with weather and currency the main drivers. The high prices, fuelled partly by lower yields, make growers reluctant sellers in…

Spot and forward prices (£/t ex-farm)
Each set of prices comes from a single merchant, co-op or broker, and are the latest prices being paid to farmers. Ranges of prices, within one category relate to the distance of the farm from the buyer. Oilseed rape prices are latest spot and forward prices, not contract prices. Ex farm prices vary with the distance from Hull, Liverpool and Erith, crushing factories.

Arable machinery

See all

TRACTORS

More power and new cab for Fendt 200- and 300-series

Fendt has timed the major overhaul of its cab interiors with several updates to the 200- and 300-series ranges. The tractors fall into the price-sensitive 100hp sector, so have never…

TRACTORS

Video: Kubota's 170hp four-cylinder M7173 on test

Kubota’s battle to become part of the 150hp-plus conversation took a new twist last month after HRN, one of Scotland’s biggest machinery dealers, penned a deal to sell and service…

HARVEST EQUIPMENT

Home-built and off-the-shelf round bale accumulator options

Bale accumulators have the potential to massively improve the efficiency of field clearance and there are plenty of bits of kit on offer for those dealing with big squares. But…

COMBINES

Driver's view: Mathew Caudwell’s John Deere W540i

We get the lowdown on the John Deere W540i combine run by Lincolnshire farmer Mathew Caudwell. We find out why his chose the JD W-series and how it has performed…