Know How / Barley / Land preparation

Seed-bed preparation on most soils needs to be done with as few cultivation passes as possible, so that costs are contained, weed numbers are reduced and soil moisture is retained. Discover how cultivations can help produce effective seed-beds for winter and spring barley crops and get advice on coping with different soil conditions

Case studies

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COVER CROPS

Why cover crops have a place on a mixed Hampshire farm

Cover cropping has earned its place in the arable rotation at Freefolk Farms in Hampshire, with stubble turnips being used ahead of spring cropping, bringing many benefits on the thin…

COVER CROPS

Video: Crimper trial aims to kill cover crops without herbicides

The holy grail of crimping is for cover crops to slowly die into a weed-supressing mat, covering the soil without the use of chemical sprays or the plough. For an…

BLACKGRASS

Blackgrass battle looks winnable for Suffolk grower

Suffolk grower Andrew Colchester has taken a big step towards banishing blackgrass on his farm by radically changing his cultivation strategy and beefing up his herbicide programme. He had seen…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

How a min-till approach can improve soil health

A change to the cultivations policy has helped a Shropshire farming estate save both time and money, while also improving the condition of its soils. The previous plough and power…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Two growers look to bridge organic-conventional gap

Many growers are keen to bridge the gap between organic and conventional farming, with one Wiltshire organic farmer adopting a non-plough approach to establishing cereals while a conventional Leicestershire farm…

SOILS

Green compost lifts yields on Buckingham farm

Mark Humphrey’s use of green compost on his Buckinghamshire farm has resulted in bumper milling wheat and maize yields on his poor, hungry gravel soils. Using council-collected garden waste for…

Practical advice

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PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Tips on selecting the right cultivator for your soils

Farmers often put a huge amount of effort into selecting the right drill to get cereal crops off to the best start in the autumn, but picking the wrong cultivator…

ESTABLISHMENT

What to consider when changing your establishment system

Farmers looking to change their establishment system are attracted by the promises of improved weed control and cheaper cultivations; however, getting it wrong can prove to be a costly mistake.…

COVER CROPS

Video: 5 key points for destroying your cover crops

Timing is key when killing off cover crops with one expert suggesting a herbicide needs to be used some three to four weeks before a spring crop is drilled. Some…

ARABLE

3 ways to measure earthworm numbers

Having a healthy population of earthworms can help growers halt the UK’s serious decline in soil health, with an estimated loss of 2.2m tonnes of topsoil each year. Earthworms’ key…

ARABLE

Tips on how to get your soils back in to better shape

Up to 30% of the yield from the UK’s record-breaking wheat crop in Northumberland came from water stored in the soil, highlighting the importance of healthy soils. And given that…

SOILS

Expert advice on achieving sustainable soils

Protecting soil health is vital for the health of crops now, and in the future. This ultimate guide covers the key areas of soil health, how to test your soil,…

Insights

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SOILS

Expert advice on managing soils better

Soil health has risen to the top of the agenda for the agricultural industry over recent years. At the recent Farmers Weekly Soils in Practice event on a Lincolnshire farm,…

ARABLE

How 'conservation agriculture' can improve soil health

Adopting the fundamental principles of “conservation agriculture” has huge potential for nursing depleted arable soils back to health and correct implementation is key to its success. Conservation agriculture is defined…

SOILS

Arable Horizons: How science and tech could save our soils

Our soils are in trouble. That has been the clear and much-publicised message from the scientific community in recent years. But despite the gloomy headlines, Wilfred Otten of the Cranfield…

ARABLE

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…

ARABLE

Short-term benefits pay for cover crop establishment

The short-term benefits of improved nutrient capture and weed suppression pay for the cost of establishing a cover crop, according to new data. This then leaves the longer-term benefits to…

ARABLE

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…

ARABLE

Effect of cultivation method on crop yields

There are many ways to cultivate a field, ranging from deep ploughing to no-till farming, and choosing the right variety and cultivation technique combination is the key to getting the…

ARABLE

Many UK growers missing out on the benefits of zero tillage

Only 3% of the UK arable area is farmed using Conservation Agriculture (zero tillage), much lower than other parts of the world. Anthony Pope argues why more farmers should consider…