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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How one Devon farmer is succeeding with strip-till maize

Devon grower James Lee is a keen advocate of minimum tillage on his soils in the wetter West, but when it comes to sowing maize it carries unique challenges. Ideally,…


How OSR is working in a regenerative farming system

Oilseed rape is still being grown by Lincolnshire farmer Andrew Jackson, but on a smaller scale than before and in a much wider rotation – in keeping with his aim…


Four farmers' plans to cope with soaring fertiliser costs

The recent hike in fertiliser price has seen production costs skyrocket for arable farmers. We speak to four farmers from across the country to find out what this means for…


Integrating beef unit on arable land - do the costs add up?

Peter Lord, farm manager at Norwood Farm, near Bath teamed up with the AHDB and Adas to convert the 290ha long-term arable farm into an integrated mixed farming enterprise. He…


Video: Good early sugar beet yield as harvesting speeds up

Sugar beet harvesting is kicking off with promising yields for one Suffolk farmer amid more optimism among growers due to low disease levels and a price rise in the pipeline.…


How to grow a winter wheat crop yielding 15t/ha

Tim Lamyman is consistently growing wheat crops yielding 15t/ha using a high-input, high-output system across a number of varieties on his Lincolnshire Wolds farm. His method of using high levels…

Practical advice

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Advice on using metaldehyde up safely before ban

Arable farmers are being urged to follow Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG) guidelines closely to avoid polluting water in the product’s last season of use. There is uncertainty about exactly how…


Tips on controlling BYDV in a high pressure autumn

Higher numbers of aphids combined with an earlier start to drilling and glyphosate shortages mean that the barley yellow dwarf virus risk could be higher this autumn. The virus, which…


Five reasons to delay wheat drilling this autumn

Wheat growers are being advised not to rush winter cereal drilling this autumn, as a protracted germination resulting from a high blackgrass seed dormancy means plenty of patience is required…


Advice on clamping sugar beet for optimal harvest storage

This year’s sugar beet harvest campaign is now under way, and a shortage of HGV drivers is expected to limit crop collection times, which may force some beet growers to…


Straw-for-muck agreements: The benefits and how to do it

Muck-for-straw exchanges can bring mutual gains for livestock and arable businesses.  The arable business provides straw for bedding and, in return, can integrate organic manure into the soils it uses…


Tips on how to reduce losses from tuber blight this autumn

Potato growers are urged to remain vigilant against tuber blight as the season draws to a close, with adequate skin set and early store management key to avoiding significant losses.…


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Why OSR growers shouldn't rely on azoles for light leaf spot

Oilseed rape growers have been given an early warning about the future effectiveness of light leaf spot sprays, after researchers found that the fungus responsible for the disease is becoming…


How data analytics can help identify marginal farmland

The power of data analytics in improving decision making about future land use is being highlighted by a project at AHDB’s Strategic Farm East to use data to identify marginal…


Why sugar beet variety choice has a role in weed control

Research shows that crop canopy – driven by good establishment, variety choice and adequate nutrition – should play a more integral role in weed management strategies in sugar beet. Weeds…


The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in NI and Scotland

Nitrate vulnerable zones exist to protect the environment against potential pollution from fertiliser and manure applications. Each devolved nation has its own rules – so what do arable farmers need…


Lodging lessons learned for winter malting barley

Extreme weather is making crop management more tricky, and this year many growers got caught out with their growth regulator strategy, resulting in waist-high winter barley crops that went flat.…


How to tackle worrying emerging potato blight strains

Breeders believe they have the tools to stay one step ahead of late blight in potatoes, despite concern about new and more aggressive strains emerging across Europe. Since 2000, researchers…


4 slug pellet myths busted for better control

The withdrawal of metaldehyde means growers will soon only have ferric phosphate slug pellets to count on when managing this devastating pest. However, there are a number of myths on…


How plant sap tests could unlock disease control benefits

Understanding how nutrition affects plant health is still very much an evolving science, but plant sap analysis is allowing management decisions to be based on close to real-time data. Sap…


Regenerative farming: Is there a place for fungicides?

Regenerative farming systems can be used to minimise dependence on fungicides, but won’t exclude them completely. While most of the growers who have adopted regenerative agriculture are aiming to cut…


Why demand is expected to be strong for virus-resistant wheat

Insecticide-free wheat has moved a step closer with the arrival of the hard Group 4 winter wheat variety Wolverine, which is the first to offer barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV)…


How an easy-to-use app can help with tight potato margins

At the sharp end of the season, potato maincrops might be increasing or decreasing in value by as much as £100/ha/day as yields increase and segment proportions change. Harvest too…


Can grain nutrient analysis improve fertiliser use?

Grain nutrient analysis offers growers an effective way to improve input efficiency by diagnosing potential nutrient deficiencies, so management plans can be tweaked accordingly. Acting a bit like a post-mortem, grain…

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