Know How / Barley / Establishment

Rapid emergence of barley is governed by soil temperature and sowing depth, making seedbed condition essential for good establishment. Here you will find out more about establishing your barley crop, how you can improve seed to soil contact and what role seed rate, seedbed fertiliser and consolidation have on your results.

Case studies

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Drill change improves cereal crop resilience

Spring barley was the last crop to be fully drilled with the 3m Mzuri Pro-till drill and despite the tricky spring, it yielded nearly 8t/ha last summer.  Neil White believes…


What Lincs grower learned from spring barley drill demo

Successfully direct-drilling spring barley is a tough challenge on heavy soils and for one Lincolnshire grower, a min-till approach delivers the best returns. However, work continues to find a viable…


How direct-drilling slashed fuel costs by 30% on Lincs farm

Making radical changes to crop establishment, such as ditching the plough and power harrow, could help farmers fill the income gap resulting from the loss of BPS payments. This is…


What Hereford Monitor Farms' machinery cost review reveals

A full machinery review has identified potential savings for the four AHDB Herefordshire Monitor Farmers, which could help their businesses weather the combined effects of the rise in input costs…


How two farmers are using fermented manure to improve soil

On the north Northumberland coast, mixed farmers Guy Douglas and Peter Brewis are working together to ferment their farmyard manure to create a highly nutritious "soil food source" to enrich…


How a data analyst is improving 4 arable businesses in Norfolk

Data is the new weapon for farmers seeking to enter a competitive global market, while protecting the environment and coping with the greater extremes in weather. But not enough is…

Practical advice

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Pointers on rescuing waterlogged soils for spring barley

The UK spring barley area is predicted to rise 13% this season, and growers are advised to adapt cultivation and drilling methods to resurrect waterlogged soils. Following the wet winter…


6 steps to growing better spring barley for 2023 season

As the spring barley drilling season gets under way in some early areas, we look at six key points to consider when growing the crop. We speak to arable technical…


5 steps to introducing a no-till approach on arable farms

Farmer-led organisation Base-UK will be recommending a five-stage approach to adopting regenerative farming at Cereals, for growers looking to start their no-till journey. The five steps are: 1. Have a…


How to achieve the most effective cover crop destruction

Cover crops are becoming a mainstream option for growers, but their successful destruction ahead of spring cropping is greatly dependent on the type of cover species sown, timing and removal…


5 cultivation and establishment methods compared

Establishment systems cover varying degrees of soil movement, from relatively little disturbance associated with direct-drilling and min-till through to deep cultivations and complete inversion with the likes of ploughing. Each…


How to reduce soil compaction and optimise crop yields

Compacted soils can typically yield 10-20% lower than healthy soils, which is why growers could benefit from a range of measures to cut compaction risks and avoid costly yield losses.…


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Seed sales show heavy reliance on a limited number of varieties

After a testing season and difficult harvest, growers are sticking to a narrow range of varieties for the new cropping year. Farmers Weekly finds out what’s filling the drills. See…


How a new soil scoring tool picks the best cultivation option

A new crop establishment tool which assesses a range of soil management factors is set to help farmers identify whether a change in cultivation may benefit their soils. There is…


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…


Video: High-pressure water tech aids direct drilling success

Replacing drill coulters with a high-pressure jet to open up the soil will not only improve germination, its inventors believe it can aid rooting by cracking compaction and aerating soils.…


Why no-till is profitable despite having a yield penalty

As machinery costs are the main driver of arable profit, no-till farms can afford to produce 1t/ha less wheat than their more conventional counterparts. Speaking at the Groundswell event in June, accountant…


Plough, min-till and no-till compared: year one

A major trial has been set up to find the most profitable and sustainable way to grow arable crops by comparing three different establishment systems over five years. Establishment systems…


Smart drill add-on offers real-time variable applications

A clever gadget that provides planter operators with real-time soil data for on-the-fly variable-rate seed and fertiliser applications could soon feature on UK farms after a recent Agco acquisition. Illinois-based…


Data reveals how raising crop yields can offset subsidy loss

Any reductions in support payments arising from Brexit can be covered on most UK arable farms by improved crop performance, results from ProCam’s 4Cast service suggest. The higher wheat yields…


Why spring wheat can be more profitable than spring barley

Spring wheat can earn growers more money than spring barley with a potential gross margin of over £800/ha and offer them a competitive crop to counter troublesome grassweeds. According to…


Low BYDV risk this season sends cheer to embattled growers

A lower barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) risk this season could cut cereal establishment costs by eliminating the need for a seed dressing. This could be the silver lining for…


Growers highlight soil and cost advantages of using no-till

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to putting no-tillage cultivation techniques into practice, but there is a basic recipe that everyone can follow. Minimal soil disturbance, diverse rotations and…


Building a case for no-till crop establishment

Whether at grower meetings, hashtagged on your Twitter feed or even featured on BBC’s Countryfile on a Sunday evening, “no-till” enthusiasts are certainly making a lot of noise. Global grain…