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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CROP MANAGEMENT

Lincolnshire grower sees basis for future success

Henry Hickling returned to his family’s Lincolnshire farm eager to stay up to date with all the latest technology to help improve soil health and the environment and so he…

OTHER CROPS

Why one Scottish light land estate has opted to grow rye

Hybrid rye is replacing wheat and barley on one light land Perthshire estate as it has a higher yield and lower inputs, while satisfying a growing thirst for rye whisky.…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How the new Monitor Farm plans to scrutinise cropping costs

The AHDB’s new Wisbech Monitor Farm hosts, father and son Andrew and Sam Melton, are focusing on the challenges to profitability as they start their three-year stint as part of…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Hants grower focuses on sustainable farming as support fades

Hampshire farm manager Andy Bason is looking to improve his sustainable farming practices with a focus on soil health in preparation for the ending of direct farm subsidies. He is…

OILSEED RAPE

Longer rotations and soil moisture at heart of OSR success

Suffolk grower Samuel Steward grows his oilseed rape crop in a six-year rotation and is achieving yields of more than 4t/ha with a firm focus on drilling seed into adequate…

BARLEY

Virus-tolerant barleys could offer insecticide-free future

Virus-tolerant winter barley varieties could be the way forward to avoid spraying insecticides in the autumn, but there are some doubts about whether these varieties give good enough yields and…

Practical advice

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WHEAT

Skyfall wheat comes out top in variety sustainability index

Old favourite Skyfall comes out as the top winter wheat variety on a sustainability rating scale looking across a range of desirable characteristics for growers. Agronomy group Agrii has created…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

How to prepare for ergot limits in cereals for harvest 2021

Growers need to prepare for new regulations covering maximum limits on ergot in cereals, to avoid loads being rejected by millers and merchants from harvest 2021 onwards.  The current 0.05%…

PEST MANAGEMENT

4 tips to monitor insect populations to aid pest management

Identifying and monitoring insect populations can benefit growers, providing them with knowledge of the abundance of species on farm so a pest management system can be integrated. Mark Ramsden, senior…

CROP SELECTION

Why lupins could make the breakthrough as a break crop

Lupins are finding a home on one Kent family-run farm as a useful spring-sown break crop, with a guaranteed price and a ready market for the protein-rich grain. The leguminous…

BLACKGRASS

How new herbicides can get bad blackgrass fields back on track

Growers will need to take a field-by-field approach to blackgrass this autumn given that drilling dates, seed-bed conditions, herbicide use and crop competitiveness have been so variable during this difficult…

OILSEED RAPE

Oilseed rape variety choice is key to beat beetle threat

Variety choice is the most vital factor for oilseed rape growers to help cope with cabbage stem flea beetle damage, with a preference for varieties with fast growth in the…

Insights

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ARABLE

Suffolk farm tests 5 technologies for post-Brexit future

The first in a regional network of Helix demonstration farms, Suffolk host farmer Tom Jewers is working alongside agronomy company Hutchinsons to test the value and benefits of new technologies…

VARIETY SELECTION

Can wheat blends raise yields and cut disease control costs?

Growing different blends of wheat varieties can increase yields while reducing disease pressure, enabling farmers to cut the number of fungicide applications, suggests new Danish research. The landmark research, carried out by…

MACHINERY

Farmer-designed mower cuts and collects weeds before harvest

A new weed mower that cuts off seed heads and carts them out of the crop could accelerate interest in mechanical intervention for weed control in organic and conventionally grown…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How farmers can benefit from new way of paying agronomists

Farmers will soon be able to share the production risk of their arable crops with their agronomist using the country’s first payment-by-results agronomy service. Up to now, agronomic advice in…

OILSEED RAPE

OSR seed dressing offers hope for flea beetle control

The only oilseed rape insecticide seed dressing with activity against the industry’s most damaging pest, cabbage stem flea beetle, can improve crop autumn establishment and increase yields by nearly 10%.…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Intercropping farm trials reveal weed and yield results

Growing two crops together, known as intercropping, can increase yields by suppressing weeds and reducing crop susceptibility to pest and disease attacks. On-farm research, run by the Innovative Farmers Network…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Analysis: How the loss of chlorothalonil will affect farmers

The multisite fungicide chlorothalonil – the mainstay of many disease control programmes in a range of crops – has finally gone, following an EU ban on sales last year and…

ARABLE

Free app to help growers with cropping for ELM scheme

Farmers are to get the first glimpse this summer of a new online tool which will help them decide cropping plans for a new “public money for public good” agricultural…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Why biopesticides will play a bigger role on arable farms

Biopesticides – a group of crop protection tools made from living micro-organisms or natural products – now represent more than 10% of the UK agrochemicals market, with sales growing at…

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…

ARABLE

Expert advice on maximising OSR yields in a difficult season

After such a wet autumn and winter, the big question over oilseed rape this spring is: "What can farmers do to maximise yields in a very difficult season for oilseed…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

New fungicide available for sclerotinia control in OSR

Oilseed rape growers are set to benefit from a new fungicide this season which controls sclerotinia at flowering, with yield increases of up to 0.4t/ha over existing farm-standard treatments. Aviator,…

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