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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Trials farm suffers massive financial hit from wet weather

A grower hosting AHDB trials estimates this season’s wet weather could cost him £80,000 in lost income, due to reduced yields, no spring cropping and lost income from contract work.…


Why pollinators are key to Scottish grower’s 6t/ha bean yield

Pollinating insects can increase bean yields by up to 50%. Emma Gillbard visits a farmer who is using beetle banks and grass margins to boost yield and cut chemical use.…


Eliminating chemicals helps future-proof pig and arable farm

Nick Dymond’s journey to chemical-free crop production began 10 years ago when he decided to escape the chemical conveyor belt and focus on soil health at the family pig and…


How an Essex oat grower hit variable cost of £48.50/t

A focus on optimising crop inputs saw one Essex farmer spend just £48.50/t on variable growing costs for a crop of Mascani winter oats, the lowest in his benchmarking group.…


Dorset grower hopes for lift from septoria-hitting SDHI

Bob Rowe is turning to a new hard-hitting septoria fungicide across all his 700ha of winter wheat at the crucial T2 flag leaf timing later this month to gain from…


How couple are developing organic, no-till cropping business

Starting five years ago with an optimistic vision and a blank slate, first-generation organic farmer and emergency doctor Alex Fraser had a plan to produce healthy food for local people.…

Practical advice

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Groundswell: Top tips to run an effective on-farm trial

On-farm trials are important development tools for testing new techniques or fine-tuning existing crop management approaches for farming businesses. Whether it’s a new product, variety, idea or machine, undertaking a…


Tips to tackle foliar sugar beet disease in high risk season

Virus yellows is not expected to be the major issue feared in the spring – when aphid migration started earlier than usual – sugar beet growers have been reassured by…


Cereals 2024: Why September drilled OSR can boost yield

Drilling oilseed rape from the second week of September rather than the typical August sowing window could be a strategic move for growers to boost yield potential. Latest research from…


Wheat growers advised not to scrimp on T3 sprays

Wheat growers are being warned not to economise on T3 sprays and risk exposing emerging wheat ears in such a wet high disease pressure year. See also: World’s first verified…


Tips for spring barley growers as lodging risk rises

Spring barley and oat growers are being advised to use plant growth regulator this spring to avoid yield losses in what could be a higher risk year. Growth regulators can…


Expert tips for T1 fungicide strategies in rain-battered wheat

Weeks of rain and higher-than-normal spring temperatures are creating challenges for T1 fungicide plans, with growers advised to be guided by drilling date and variety. In such a testing season,…


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Agchem twin packs: Pros and cons

The practice of selling agrochemicals in twin packs is being questioned by both agronomists and farmers this year after high disease pressure has meant spray programmes need constant adjustment. The…


Groundswell: How regen guru prevents yield declines

If done correctly, transitioning to regenerative agriculture should come with yield increases not declines, according to US regen guru John Kempf. Speaking to a packed Big Top audience at Groundswell…


Why gene editing could help growers practising regen ag

Gene editing could help speed the widespread adoption of regenerative farming practices through introducing desirable traits into crop plants faster. This is according to Prof Giles Oldroyd, director of the…


Winter wheat offers disease and virus resistance

After this season’s high disease pressure, a new winter wheat with strong resistance scores, plus immunity to two key pests, could prove a popular choice this autumn. RAGT’s Goldfinch has…


Cereals 2024: Advice on wheat actives to counter brown rust

Wheat growers are being urged to look at fungicide actives rather than products to control multiple diseases, and this has been highlighted by the early virulent attacks of brown rust…


Cereals 2024: Exceptional year puts T4 spray in the frame

The need for a T4 spray was being discussed by agronomists and growers at the Cereals 2024 event, as crops continue to come under pressure from disease. With brown rust…


How to get the most from SAM2 overwinter cover crops

Many growers will have experimented with overwintered cover crops in recent seasons, with, it’s fair to say, varying levels of success. In terms of area, overwintered cover crops is the…


Tackling wild oats: How to identify and map problem areas

It is more than 30 years since the first wild oats with resistance to fops and dims chemistry were identified in the UK, and since then, some feel the problem…


Should growers persevere with OSR despite challenges?

The AHDB has estimated a near 30% drop in the UK oilseed rape area compared to 2023, making it the UK’s smallest crop for 40 years – at 280,000ha. With…


How harvest cultivations can help beat flea beetle in OSR

Shallow cultivations carried out shortly after the combine can help reduce adult flea beetle populations, but more research is needed to refine advice to growers. Speaking at a recent Limagrain…


Growers to benefit from new generation farm software program

Managing crop inputs and complying with pesticide legislation is set to become easier with a new farm management program that brings everything together into a single place. Up to now,…


How to get the best out of IPM3 companion cropping in SFI

Companion cropping is perhaps one of the easier options to include in Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) agreements, particularly if you’re growing oilseed rape or perhaps maize, or for an end…

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