Know How / Nutrition and fertiliser

Advice, case studies and insights on good nutrient management and fertiliser application for the best crop yields and quality. Get tips on when and how to apply nitrogen fertiliser to keep costs down, how to avoid nutrition deficiencies, problems such as lodging and how to achieve good sulphur levels for healthy soils.

Advice and tips


How to avoid the top 3 micronutrient deficiencies in cereals

Needed in such finite quantities, micronutrients can be easily overlooked as another expense, with deficiencies putting cereal yields at risk as well as leading to crops that are more susceptible…


Early N is first step in rescuing waterlogged wheat crops

Applying early nitrogen (N) and phosphate fertiliser to wheat crops is the starting point for nursing them back to health, as farmers look to minimise the effect of waterlogging on…


How to avoid the top 5 nutrient deficiencies in OSR

Correcting micronutrient deficiencies in oilseed rape can raise yields by an average 0.3t/ha, according to trials, helping growers get even more from a crop that is proving to be increasingly…


How Yen growers delivered monster OSR and cereal yields

A winter wheat crop by Lincolnshire grower Mark Stubbs yielded 16.3t/ha to take the top prize in the Adas-organised Yield Enhancement Network (Yen) competition in 2019. Following good use of…

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Case studies


Kent grower shares secret to rapeseed world-record yield

Drilling oilseed rape late to avoid pest damage and adverse weather has helped Kent grower Richard Budd break the rapeseed yield world record. Farming with his father, David, at Stevens…


OSR yields rise after fertiliser cut by 30% on Shropshire farm

Shropshire grower Matthew Williams has increased his oilseed rape yields while also cutting his fertiliser costs by fully utilising the residual nitrogen in his soil. Mr Williams’ OSR yields increased…


How to grow a 10t/ha-plus malting spring barley crop

Norfolk grower Alex Wilcox grew a bumper 10t/ha-plus malting spring barley crop in 2019, using low seed rates and early drilling to achieve monster grain ears at harvest. His barley…


How trials are helping two farmers maximise crop margins

Managing risk is the key objective for both AHDB’s two Strategic Cereals Farm hosts, as they look to use some of their on-farm trial lessons to manage crops affected by…

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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…


How grain analysis can help farmers hit wheat protein specs

Grain analysis post-harvest can help explain why some crops are low-yielding or have struggled to meet milling protein specification by giving a snapshot of nutrient availability at the end of…


How farmer trials club targets fungicide use and crop nutrition

Getting locally relevant trials data is challenging and no area demonstrates this better than the fertile Grade 1 silts of south Lincolnshire. These high-yielding soils may be the envy of…


How cover crops can help growers get more from digestate

A four-species cover crop mix has proved successful on some farms in capturing the nitrogen from autumn-applied digestate, which is then released for the following crop. Digestate is a valuable…

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Nitrogen-fixing cereals a step closer after breakthrough

A breakthrough by scientists has raised the likelihood of farmers one day being able to grow nitrogen-fixing cereal crops. The research conducted by Oxford and Cambridge Universities created a “molecular…


Enhanced urea fertiliser offers 5% extra yield

An enhanced urea fertiliser that contains two different urease inhibitors promises to deliver yields equivalent to crops grown using ammonium nitrate. Urease inhibitors can have a valuable role in reducing…


Soil mapping is set to get more accurate and detailed

Soil nutrient mapping is set to get a lot more accurate and detailed as the scanning technology used for detecting minerals from the air in Canada is being adapted for…


Crop Watch: Hungry wheat crops and OSR crop failures

It's take-off time as crops are now moving, with oilseed rape approaching flowering and hungry wheat crops ready for their nitrogen fertiliser.  Thoughts turn to disease control and growth regulation…

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Test and reviews


New drill options for seed-bed fertiliser

New options for growers wanting to apply dry fertiliser when sowing spring cereal crops take different approaches to delivering the material, either down the same spout as the seed or…


Spirit fertiliser and seed into place

Growers in Scotland who like to put down some fertiliser with their cereal seed will welcome the  the Spirit Next System Disc Combo (SDC). Using standard components throughout, the SDC…

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Video: Potato planting races ahead in the Suffolk sunshine

Potato planting kicked off this week on one large Suffolk Breckland estate, with high hopes for the early-maturing crop after it went into the ground in ideal conditions. The light…


Video: Farm uses drone to even up rapeseed yields

Reducing variation in the thickness of oilseed rape canopies in a bid to pump up yields is the focus at one family farm in Northumberland, using a drone to provide…


Video: Wheat yield record-holders tell us how they did it

Two world wheat yield record-holders came face-to-face in a New Zealand vs Northumberland match after Kiwi Eric Watson pipped Rod Smith’s record with a recipe of low seed rates and…


Video: How to properly set up a crop sprayer

Crop spraying is one of the most important and highly skilled jobs undertaken on any arable farm, but it is facing increased public scrutiny. This is why it is vital…

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