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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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…


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 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…


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…


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…


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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How growers can improve soil management decisions

A way of benchmarking soil health plus a tool aimed at helping farmers tackle soil compaction were among the highlights at Farmers Weekly’s Soils in Practice 2018 event. We take…


7 steps to successful subsoiling

Subsoiling can be effective technique to solve soil compaction problems. However, if done at the wrong time or incorrect depth, it can cause more problems than it solves. Soil compaction…


Tips on assessing the health of your soil

A healthy soil is described as a living system that helps to maintain and enhance the natural environment, which in turn makes for more productive crops. That’s a shortened version…


Advice on reducing soil erosion in arable fields

Soil erosion is a natural process that can be slow and continue virtually unnoticed or may occur at an alarming rate and involve huge amounts of soil being lost from…


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…


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.…


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Can arable farming and wildlife conservation work together?

Farming is coming under greater pressure to halt the decline in wildlife. A major government project hopes to provide some of the answers in coming years, by balancing greater diversity with…


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,…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…