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 spraying bacteria can raise sugar beet yields

A desire to increase sugar beet yields while saving on inputs has seen Allpress Farms introduce rhizobia bacteria in the hope of making more efficient use of its peaty soils.…


How to pick the right cover crop mix this autumn

Interest in cover crops in the UK has been on a steep upward trajectory for several years, driven by their ability to right some of the environmental wrongs in cropping…


Norfolk farm sees the benefits of liquid nitrogen switch

One large Norfolk arable farm is seeing the benefits of a switch to using liquid nitrogen in terms of accuracy and flexibility, although it is too early to link the change to…


How to improve OSR establishment with seed-bed fertiliser

An early application of nutrients, delivered by either a starter or traditional fertiliser product, can help to achieve quick emergence and growth of an oilseed rape crop. At establishment, the…

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Case studies


Why rye is the ideal second cereal on one Yorkshire farm

Maize tends to be the favoured crop for anaerobic digestion because it offers the highest dry matter yields. However, on the Yorkshire Wolds, hybrid rye is matching it when grown…


Barley grower sees winter crop come up trumps

Malting barley grower Andy Roberts’ strategy of growing both winter and spring crops paid a dividend this summer as good quality from the former made up for a more problematic…


Potato yields and soils improved by compost on Norfolk farm

Tony Bambridge is increasing his potato yields and improving his light Norfolk soils by the use of green waste compost, which is especially important in this summer's dry weather. Potato…


How one farmer slashed fertiliser and fungicide use in wheat

The cost of wheat disease control has been rocketing over recent years, with some farms now using five or even six fungicide applications to protect yield. Unhappy with being dragged down…

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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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Slow sulphur could help growers save on fertiliser bills

A slow-release sulphur fertiliser will be available this autumn which may help growers to save money by cutting back on applications, with Britain’s number one blender being one of the…


3 grower-led trials that will benefit arable farms

More than 30 groups of farmers are carrying out their own research in the Innovative Farmers initiative, on topics ranging from electrical weeding to improving soil health. Richard Allison picks…


Why phosphate fertiliser use on crops may have to change

Current best-practice strategies for phosphate fertiliser use in arable crops are based on feeding the soil to feed the crop, rather than the crop. As a result, the guidance in…


How the new fertiliser guidelines will benefit farmers

Official guidelines for fertiliser rates are changing for many cereal crops this spring, which could help farmers achieve higher yields. Recent years have seen much debate about whether the current…

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Harvest 2018: Lincs grower breaks his OSR yield world record

Lincolnshire Wolds grower Tim Lamyman has broken his own world record for oilseed rape yield with a harvested crop of more than 7t/ha by encouraging good rooting and cutting plant…


Crop Watch: Bolting beans and drought stress

The large swings in temperature and rainfall in recent weeks are taking their toll. With memories of flooded fields still fresh in the mind, some crops are now showing signs…


OSR growers to focus on nutrition as weather set to warm

Oilseed rape growers are being urged to focus on crop nutrition as the warmer weather forecast for next week may allow them into their crops, with the earliest ones starting…


Essex rapeseed crop in need of nitrogen as flowering nears

One Essex oilseed rape crop is in need of extra nitrogen fertiliser as the crop is set to grow rapidly with the advent of warmer weather and start flowering in…

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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: 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…


Video: How to properly set up a fertiliser spreader

Spring fertiliser applications are crucial to getting crop growth off to the best start possible, and making sure your spreading equipment is up to the job is the most important…

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