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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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…

WHEAT

Biostimulant use cuts grower's fungicide cost to just £12/ha

Biological crop stimulants play a vital role at Cambridgeshire-based Abington Farms, where timely biostimulant applications have significantly increased winter wheat yields and reduced fungicide costs. Simon Chaplin, Abington farm director,…

WHEAT

Wheat grower hits protein target using root test

Shropshire farm manager Jon Birchall has successfully trialled a new milling wheat protein prediction test to make sure he hits breadmaking standards with clear financial benefits. Sampling his crops in…

SOILS

How two arable farms are tackling extreme weather

Improving soil health and establishing a cover crop is helping farmers overcome the effects of extreme weather on their cropping system. The past few months have seen big swings in…

WHEAT

Berks wheat grower cuts nitrogen and hits milling protein

Berkshire milling wheat grower Nick Philp is cutting his nitrogen fertiliser use by using a foliar product while increasing his chances of hitting breadmaking quality. Feeding little and often with…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Herts grower puts hoe to the test in narrow-row cereals

Precision-guided hoeing is being put through its paces on a Hertfordshire farm in an effort to improve blackgrass control in winter wheat and minimise the need for a spring-applied herbicide.…

Practical advice

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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…

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

New varieties and prices spark biscuit wheat revival

Soft-milling biscuit-making wheats are experiencing a revival led by better price premiums and varieties, and could see a further increase in area this autumn. For wheat growers struggling to meet…

WEED MANAGEMENT

How to tackle brome and stop it becoming the new blackgrass

The recent discovery of six populations of brome that are resistant to a key group of herbicides means that growers should adopt a zero-tolerance approach to the weed. Work carried…

POTATOES

5 tips on effective use of maleic hydrazide in potatoes

Good application is essential in getting the most from maleic hydrazide, which AHDB trials have shown to be a useful, cost-effective tool for controlling early dormancy break in potatoes. This…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Ramularia risk to barley as key fungicide banned

Spring barley growers need to make sure they have a ramularia-active fungicide in their T2 sprays this season as the best product for this disease is being banned this week.…

SOILS

How deep cultivations can repair heavy land after a wet winter

Heavy land arable farmers could benefit from subsoiling or mole ploughing after harvest in order to get soils back into shape, ready for autumn cropping, after a wet and damaging…

Insights

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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…

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,…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How a better understanding of oat agronomy will lift yields

Researchers are addressing the urgent need for better agronomy knowledge for spring oats, which has the potential to become a high-yielding breakcrop. Not only will the new benchmark figures help…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

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…

CROP SELECTION

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…

PEST MANAGEMENT

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…

IRRIGATION

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…

ARABLE

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…

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