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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Malting barley on heavy land pays off for Cambs grower

Bad blackgrass and the three-crop rule prompted Sam Morris into growing spring barley and last year it turned up trumps by being the most profitable crop on his heavy land…


How a mixed farm is waging a costly battle against ryegrass

Persistent ryegrass is being controlled on one farm in Kent through the combination of late drilling, growing spring barley and break crops, topped up by a targeted herbicide programme in…


How to hit quality specs with marrowfat peas

Growing a profitable crop of marrowfat peas requires complete attention to detail, from seed-bed formation to harvest, as getting it wrong can lead to disappointing yields and loss of valuable…


Long-term benefits of cover crops examined on Suffolk farm

Early destruction of cover crops is essential to allow a following spring crop to be successfully drilled and established, especially as these over-winter crops are tipped to become more important…


Lincs grower uses seaweed to hit malting barley grade

Marcus Palmer is using cover crops and seaweed bio-stimulants to grow high yields of low-grain nitrogen barley in what many would consider non-traditional malting barley territory. The fertile silt lands…


How benchmarking costs is helping one arable manager

Accurate, up-to-date costings are helping Herefordshire farm manager Mark Wood make the right decisions to drive forward the 1,200ha arable and beef farm that he manages. A former AHDB monitor…

Practical advice

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How a former RAF pilot is improving crop management

A recent tie-up that brings together agronomy and aviation expertise will provide growers with highly accurate and cost-effective aerial imagery to improve on-farm decision making. The use of aerial imagery…


Tips on growing beet without neonic seed treatments

The British Beet Research Organisation is stepping up its aphid monitoring and warning system this spring to help sugar beet growers cope with the virus yellows threat in the first season…


Pesticide changes for potatoes and Avadex in spring wheat

Pesticide labels frequently change and keeping track is essential to stay on the right side of the law. Adam Clarke highlights two key changes that growers should be aware of…


6 steps to improve your fertiliser use efficiency

An average of 40% of the nitrogen fertiliser applied to crops isn’t utilised and could be lost. However, by making small changes to fertiliser use, farmers can reduce these losses…


Mechanical weeders: What are the options?

Mechanical weeders could be one way to manage weeds that are proving more difficult to tackle because of resistance and a dwindling number of actives. However, with several different models…


Why soil N testing could save you cash this spring

Last season's unusual weather has led to more variation in soil nitrogen reserves and testing soils this spring will help farmer avoid wasting fertiliser. Most growers were unable to apply…


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Analysis: What a ban on fungicide chlorothalonil would mean

The multisite fungicide chlorothalonil has been a mainstay of both wheat and barley fungicide programmes since it was launched in 1964, however, UK farmers may soon be unable to use…


A round-up of enhanced urea fertilisers and additives

Enhanced urea fertilisers and urease additives could soon have a greater role on arable farms as the government looks to slash ammonia losses through its Clean Air Strategy. The UK…


How farmers can help prevent 'mass extinction' of pollinators

Arable farming needs to change in order to halt declines in biodiversity and prevent one of the worst mass extinction events in history, a leading US entomologist has warned. Bold…


Are 100t/ha potato crops possible?

Potato yields in the UK appear to be faltering and one expert believes a yield competition like that seen with wheat could help the sector get closer to three-digit yield…


5 ways new tech can improve pesticide applications

With pressure on plant protection products from regulators and the growing problem of resistant weeds, pests and diseases, it is increasingly important to use them as accurately and effectively as…


How resistant varieties can tackle potato cyst nematode

Potato growers battling potato cyst nematode (PCN) problems are set to benefit from significant breeding efforts into producing fresh varieties resistant to the key nematode species Globodera pallida. Some promising varieties…


Air Scout thermal images show crops in a new light

How agronomists view the land they look after is changing at a rapid rate. Not only have yield maps from combines and soil analysis become staple tools, there’s now a…


Waste seaweed provides natural alternative to fungicides

Seaweed gathered from French beaches could have the potential to end UK farmers’ reliance on fungicides in arable crops by stimulating plants to protect themselves from diseases. Olmix, a leading…


3 new technologies set to help arable farmers

A third-generation SDHI fungicide, a three-in-one plant activator and insecticidal gels that work with lure-and-kill technology are among the developments that might fill some of the gaps being left by…


Key pesticide approval changes for barley and sugar beet

Pesticide approvals are constantly changing and the latest raft are set to affect farmers growing sugar beet and cereals for brewing and distilling. Highlights include more options for weed control…


7 essential arable farming apps

Whether it's looking up the nitrogen requirements for wheat on chalk or helping with the safe use of drones, there is a constant pipeline of smartphone apps promising to make…


Data reveals how raising crop yields can offset subsidy loss

Any reductions in support payments arising from Brexit can be covered on most UK arable farms by improved crop performance, results from ProCam’s 4Cast service suggest. The higher wheat yields…

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