Arable top stories

SUGAR BEET

Two-thirds of sugar beet drilled as weather turns drier

Two large sugar beet growing estates finished drilling last weekend in excellent sowing conditions, as two-thirds of the national crop is now in the ground. After a wet winter, light…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Growers have 10 months left to use Biscaya insecticide

Farmers have less than a year left to use a key insecticide which has been at the heart of strategies to tackle costly pests in cereals, oilseed rape, potatoes and…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Trying to avoid walkers with my sprayer

As we get used to this weird locked-down world, I can’t help feeling fortunate that in our industry we can at least get outside and do something legitimately useful. It…

COVER CROPS

How to manage fallow land hit by wet winter weather

Many growers will be forced to leave land fallow this season and, although that means no income, there are big benefits from higher crop yields in the future and herbicide…

MAIZE

How maize is helping grower cut costs and build soil health

Building an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant and doubling the maize area is enabling one Kent grower to tackle blackgrass in problem fields, improve soil health and cut fertiliser costs.  …

Arable news

PULSES

Updated app offers better bean seed fly control for growers

Pea and bean growers will have extra help in controlling bean seed fly this season with an updated web-based app that helps map the distribution and timing of pest attacks.…

TECHNOLOGY

Digital farm network launched to improve precision farming

A network of digital technology farms is being launched this season comprising nine initial growers and their agronomists, with the aim of cutting costs via more targeted applications of inputs…

CEREALS

Cereals postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

The Cereals event, Europe’s leading technical event for the arable industry, is the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 18,000 farmers, agronomists and industry experts visit Cereals each…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Alerts a vital tool in pest and disease control this spring

Signing up to AHDB’s pest and disease alerts may prove vital this spring, as the mild winter is having an effect on disease levels and resulting in a much earlier…

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WHEAT

Wheat variety assessed for ability to cut fungicide costs

One big farming company is hoping that growing the more disease-resistant winter wheat variety Extase will help it fine-tune fungicide spending this spring. Sentry grew 100ha of the variety last…

COVER CROPS

How to manage fallow land hit by wet winter weather

Many growers will be forced to leave land fallow this season and, although that means no income, there are big benefits from higher crop yields in the future and herbicide…

MAIZE

How maize is helping grower cut costs and build soil health

Building an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant and doubling the maize area is enabling one Kent grower to tackle blackgrass in problem fields, improve soil health and cut fertiliser costs.  …

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Top tips on managing late disease in potatoes after diquat

The loss of diquat means potato crop desiccation will be a longer and more protracted process, which could increase the risk of late-season diseases such as tuber blight and rhizoctonia.…

PEST MANAGEMENT

All you need to know about controlling wireworm in potatoes

This season is the first where growers face managing wireworm without the key pesticide Mocap (ethoprophos) that has proved effective for some years in managing the costly pest. This means…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEMES

How farmer groups can work together to get most from ELM

Farm adviser, Alison Cross, believes that farmers should act together in groups to get the best out of Britain’s future farming policy and so have a wide impact on the…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Greening farms prepare for radical switch in farm policy

Rutland farm manager Matt Houldcroft is set to put his least productive land into environmental schemes to prepare for a future “public money for public good” farm policy. He is…

CROP MANAGEMENT

On-farm fungicide trial reveals most profitable approach

A fungicide programme tailored to the season gave the best wheat yield response and the highest margin in an on-farm trial conducted by Cambridgeshire grower Russell McKenzie last year. In…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

How two wheat growers cut their fungicide bills below £70/ha

Two Herefordshire wheat growers spent less than £70/ha on fungicides last year and still yielded over 11t/ha even in the disease-prone wetter west of England. Both took part in a…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Why growers should sign up for greening ahead of new scheme

Arable farmers are being urged to sign up for environmental subsidy schemes, such as growing cover crops and wildflower mixes, to prepare for a post-Brexit farm support package. These schemes…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Why wheat growers need to be extra alert for yellow rust

Wheat growers are being warned to be extra vigilant for signs of yellow rust this spring, even where varieties with seemingly good disease resistance ratings are being grown. New yellow…

WEED MANAGEMENT

How to manage weeds in potato crops without diquat

There will be no room for complacency in potato weed control strategies this spring, as growers embark on their first season without broad-spectrum contact herbicide diquat. Up to now, weed…

BARLEY

What English spring barley growers can learn from the Scots

English spring barley growers could take a leaf out of their Scottish neighbour’s agronomy manuals and focus on crop nutrition, and micronutrients in particular, to see yields climb above 10t/ha.…

SOILS

Is regenerative agriculture the future of arable farming?

A growing number of farmers are overhauling their systems and are now farming in a way that has little impact on soil health, includes greater diversity and leads to more…

POTATOES

How to plan potato planting for trouble-free crop desiccation

With the absence of desiccant diquat, potato producers are being advised to pay careful attention to field layout, nitrogen management and blight control strategy before planting this spring. Most independent…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

How Berks wheat grower increased his yields by 20%

Tissue testing has helped Berkshire wheat grower Dan Willis push his yields up to 20% higher while his resulting healthier crops has seen him cut his fungicide costs. Checking his…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Trying to avoid walkers with my sprayer

As we get used to this weird locked-down world, I can’t help feeling fortunate that in our industry we can at least get outside and do something legitimately useful. It…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Finally cracking on with spring drilling

We are finally off. After what seems like an interminable period, our spring planting campaign is under way. Normally we have potatoes and onions to plant and relatively small areas…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Chaotic economy means high cereal prices

It is quite unbelievable how much the world has changed since I last wrote. At the beginning of March, I was skiing with a small group in a remote part…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Proud to be the new contractor chairman

We have been lucky that in the past month we have been able to get on and finish drilling some winter wheat, although I’m not sure if we should call…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: Winter barley disease and Plasticine-like soils

Spring is perhaps finally here, and many growers are making good progress on drilling, except on heavy land, which is still too wet to work. Conditions are still challenging, with…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: Yellow rust alert for forward wheats

Yellow rust is being seen in some susceptible wheat varieties, especially the forward crops, and a rust-active azole is likely to be included in the T0 mix to keep on…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: Cautious start to spring drilling on light land

Most oilseed rape is at the green bud stage and in wheat, septoria is being found on lower leaves as a pool of infection. If we see warm, wet weather…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: Weeds to be priority when sprayers can travel

Managing weeds is proving to be a headache for our agronomists this week, as many cereals that have been established have not had any herbicides applied. In Scotland, some crops…

Markets

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MARKETS AND TRENDS

Commodity markets in flux as virus uncertainty continues

Almost all markets are more volatile than usual, with a heady mix of crop areas, logistical strains, massive changes in demand and consumer trends. Speculative activity is also driving further…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Coronavirus: Chip shop closures bad news for potato growers

The closure of fish and chip shops due to coronavirus has left thousands of tonnes of potatoes languishing in storage – threatening to put farmers out of business. Although government…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Wheat price rises in nervous market

Panic buying of food has put many flour mills around the world into overdrive, pushing up prices and premiums. In the feed wheat market, the slump in the value of…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Miscanthus: Can it tackle climate change and turn a profit?

Growing miscanthus can make sense on poorer-quality land, offering farmers a financial return and a chance to do their bit for the environment. But the government is being urged by…

INPUT MARKETS AND PRICES

ForFarmers feed firm sees profits plunge

Dutch feed giant ForFarmers has blamed a “difficult and turbulent year” for a huge 69.8% drop in net profits. The company, which bought British feed firm BOCM Pauls in 2012,…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Oil price drop and currency knock £14/t off OSR prices

Coronavirus is having a growing effect on markets as economic activity slows in more countries. Oilseed rape prices fell £14/t in the week to Wednesday (11 March), to average £309/t…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Trading grain: Advice on locking in to profitable prices

Many arable farmers are not taking a rigorous enough approach to grain trading to protect themselves from losing money in volatile grain markets, say experts. James Bolesworth, director of independent…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Pigs lead recovery in livestock income as arable slips

Rising pork prices have boosted pig sector incomes by 95% to £58,000 in 2019, according to Defra’s latest figures. The pig sector figure is part of Defra’s farm business incomes…

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

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CULTIVATION AND DRILLING

Labour-saving vegetable machinery transforms staff reliance

A small agricultural importer is hoping to revolutionise the vegetable planting and harvesting world with a selection of new machines aimed at hacking back the sector's labour dependence. Growers' reliance…

TRACTORS

Case-IH's Quadtrac gets AFS Connect technology

Case-IH has added the AFS Connect system onto its monster Quadtrac tractors. The new machines will be available in Europe throughout the second half of 2020 and they follow the…

TRACTORS

Kubota unveils beefed-up M6002 tractor range

Kubota has beefed-up its 120-140hp tractor line-up with a three-model M6002 range that offers more lifting power and a smarter cab. The M6122, the M6132 and the M6142 deliver outputs…

TELEHANDLERS

Heath Engineering launches new Superspike models

Warwickshire-based company Heath Engineering has introduced three new models to its Superspike bale-handling range. All three models feature cleverly designed folding spikes so that when on the road, the spike…