Know How / Crop management

Managing your crops through the growing season means careful nutrition and fertiliser use for maximum crop yields and keeping a watchful eye on pest, weeds and disease control.

Read expert advice, case studies, and tips on how to achieve the best yields and growth through best-practice crop management techniques, on all crops including wheat, barley, oilseed rape, potatoes, sugar beet and more niche crops.

Case studies

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Kent grower shares secret to rapeseed world-record yield

Drilling oilseed rape late to avoid pest damage and adverse weather has helped Kent grower Richard Budd break the rapeseed yield world record. Farming with his father, David, at Stevens…


Miscanthus fuels Norfolk grower's desire to improve soil

Adam Brewer has turned to growing miscanthus to improve his soils and the environment, while also giving him a profitable low-input crop for his north Norfolk farm. The crop will…


OSR yields rise after fertiliser cut by 30% on Shropshire farm

Shropshire grower Matthew Williams has increased his oilseed rape yields while also cutting his fertiliser costs by fully utilising the residual nitrogen in his soil. Mr Williams’ OSR yields increased…


How to grow a 10t/ha-plus malting spring barley crop

Norfolk grower Alex Wilcox grew a bumper 10t/ha-plus malting spring barley crop in 2019, using low seed rates and early drilling to achieve monster grain ears at harvest. His barley…


How trials are helping two farmers maximise crop margins

Managing risk is the key objective for both AHDB’s two Strategic Cereals Farm hosts, as they look to use some of their on-farm trial lessons to manage crops affected by…


How a YEN winner grew top-yielding wheat and OSR crops

Award-winning winter wheat and oilseed rape yields are being produced by Lincolnshire grower Mark Stubbs from a farm that just six years ago was seeing yields being strangled by a bad blackgrass…

Practical advice

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How to avoid the top 3 micronutrient deficiencies in cereals

Needed in such finite quantities, micronutrients can be easily overlooked as another expense, with deficiencies putting cereal yields at risk as well as leading to crops that are more susceptible…


How to control phoma disease in oilseed rape crops

Phoma stem canker is a highly damaging disease in oilseed rape, with Fera Science's CropMonitor estimating losses at £100m each season in the UK. Early-season epidemics are capable of decimating…


Early N is first step in rescuing waterlogged wheat crops

Applying early nitrogen (N) and phosphate fertiliser to wheat crops is the starting point for nursing them back to health, as farmers look to minimise the effect of waterlogging on…


How to avoid the top 5 nutrient deficiencies in OSR

Correcting micronutrient deficiencies in oilseed rape can raise yields by an average 0.3t/ha, according to trials, helping growers get even more from a crop that is proving to be increasingly…


Tips on growing a successful crop of naked oats

While naked oat crops require fewer inputs than other cereals, careful management including the robust use of growth regulators, is vital for maximising yields. Some growers have been forced to…


How to keep on top of spring-germinating blackgrass

Farmers with a significant blackgrass problem should stick with spring barley this season, as the crop – when managed correctly – offers the best way to keep on top of…


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Grain testing project aims to improve crop nutrition

Farmers and agronomists could soon benefit from a new Adas initiative aimed at improving crop nutrition, by testing grain and benchmarking results. Work carried out as part of the Yield…


Canary seed offers low cost alternative crop for growers

Canary seed could offer an alternative option for growers looking for a niche cereal that is simple to establish, has low input costs and is easy to harvest. The crop…


OSR defoliation tackles flea beetle but yields suffer

Topping or grazing oilseed rape with sheep over winter can reduce flea beetle larvae numbers by up to 44%, according to new research. The trial by Innovative Farmers saw eight…


Arable Horizons: How farmers can help secure water needs

Water availability for agricultural use is forecast to come under increasing pressure as higher demand and climate change put pressure on supplies. The Adaptation Sub Committee of the Committee on…


How low-input agronomists and farmers are leading the way

Some pioneering growers have reduced their reliance on inputs by up to 50% and the secret behind their successful adoption of a low input approach has been a different type…


Why 'vertical' farming is growing in the UK

Being able to produce crops 365 days a year, without the need for pesticides or much human intervention, while being unaffected by the weather, will appeal to many growers after…


How farmers may benefit from new way of paying for pesticides

Paying for pesticides and seed based on the yield responses seen in the field could help farmers manage some of the risks of growing crops and trying out new technologies.…


Video: The world’s first robotic weed mapping service

The world’s first commercial automated weed mapping service, capable of providing farmers with an individual plant view of their fields, is being launched across four UK farms this autumn. Developed…


How wet weather is affecting cropping plans and farm finances

One of the most difficult autumns in memory for arable farmers is causing widespread disruption to fieldwork and rotations, threatening to put a giant dent in 2020 crop performance and…


How grain analysis can help farmers hit wheat protein specs

Grain analysis post-harvest can help explain why some crops are low-yielding or have struggled to meet milling protein specification by giving a snapshot of nutrient availability at the end of…


How farmer trials club targets fungicide use and crop nutrition

Getting locally relevant trials data is challenging and no area demonstrates this better than the fertile Grade 1 silts of south Lincolnshire. These high-yielding soils may be the envy of…


Bayer pumps billions into data-driven crop production

The paradox of feeding an estimated 9.7 billion people by 2050 without further damaging our environment and worsening climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. With…

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