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


6 areas to improve sprayer operator efficiency

In order to hit crucial spray timings and ensure inputs work as effectively as possible, spray operators need to maximise their time spent in the field on good spraying days.…


AHDB trial helps farmer tackle major potato challenges

Growing potatoes has its challenges, and three years ago, one Suffolk grower was seeking solutions to problems such as potato cyst nematodes (PCN) and controlling weeds without linuron, as well…


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…


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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Case studies


Organic grower turns to sheep to control weeds

Shropshire organic grower Mark Lea was concerned that docks might become a nuisance weed on his farm and, as he could not reach for a chemical can, he turned to…


OSR Masters: Growers make a good start to new season

Drilling dates have varied by five weeks and costs are being kept low as our Oilseed Rape Masters get this season’s crops up and away. Adam Driver, Driver Farms, Brockley,…


How two farmers hope to make better use of crop inputs

Growers thinking about making major changes to their cropping systems are being urged to "be brave" by two AHDB Strategic Farmers who are testing out new approaches.  Whether it’s reducing fungicide…


Scots barley growers work together to supply one distillery

A group of Scottish malting barley growers is banding together to supply the needs of one malt whisky distillery to put them in a good position if the scotch cycle…

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Farmer Focus: Arable fixed costs are too high

All winter cereal crops seem to have grown in the past month. They may have been helped by the 250mm of snow we experienced a fortnight before Christmas. With some…

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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…


How N-fixing breakthrough will slash fertiliser use

A specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, isolated from sugar cane in Brazil and capable of colonising plant roots, is being developed into a technology that could reduce the farming industry’s…


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…

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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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