Know How / Crop selection

Guidance and advice on choosing which spring or winter crops to grow for your end market to ensure you are profitable and insured against volatility. Find out which markets offer a premium, such as spring barley for whisky or milling wheat for bread and specialist crops such as quinoa or naked oats.

Advice and tips


How to successfully grow a crop of winter linseed

Farmers growing winter linseed as an alternative break crop to oilseed rape are advised to focus on their autumn management, as treating it like OSR can increase the lodging risk…


Why arable farmers should consider growing rye for pig feed

Cheaper to grow than a second wheat or winter barley and with high yields, hybrid rye offers a better margin and can help in the battle against grass weeds. In…


Beans could be an option for frustrated oilseed rape growers

Buy-back contracts for beans are set to be expanded as agronomy group Frontier looks for more than its current 100 growers for harvest 2021, which may interest oilseed rape growers…


Why lupins could make the breakthrough as a break crop

Lupins are finding a home on one Kent family-run farm as a useful spring-sown break crop, with a guaranteed price and a ready market for the protein-rich grain. The leguminous…

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Case studies


How one Northants farmer is using cost maps to cut crop risk

Mapping which parts of a field will lose money for a given crop is proving to be a valuable risk management tool for one Northants farmer, leading to better cropping…


Why one Scottish light land estate has opted to grow rye

Hybrid rye is replacing wheat and barley on one light land Perthshire estate as it has a higher yield and lower inputs, while satisfying a growing thirst for rye whisky.…


Hants grower focuses on sustainable farming as support fades

Hampshire farm manager Andy Bason is looking to improve his sustainable farming practices with a focus on soil health in preparation for the ending of direct farm subsidies. He is…


Berkshire grower earns a good premium from German wheat

Berkshire wheat grower Nick Philp is growing the German top-quality milling wheat variety Nelson, as it gives him a good price premium over most other breadmakers at a lower fungicide…

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How the new sugar beet contract shares virus yellows risk

Sugar beet growers are set to benefit from some brand new features contained in the 2021 contract, which resulted from negotiations between British Sugar and NFU Sugar. Described as ground-breaking…


What to consider before replacing OSR with a specialist crop

Farmers looking to reduce their oilseed rape area by growing specialist crops should consider the wider impact of their cropping changes to avoid potential new weed, disease and pest problems…


Is bruchid beetle making spring beans less attractive?

Despite increasing concern over uncontrollable bruchid beetle in some parts of the UK, rotational benefits and a reasonable feed market shouldn’t put growers off drilling spring beans for harvest 2021.…


Canary seed offers low cost alternative crop for growers

Canary seed could offer an alternative option for growers looking for a niche cereal that is simple to establish, has low input costs and is easy to harvest. The crop…

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Beeswax Dyson moves into research ahead of Brexit uncertainty

Britain’s biggest farmer, Beeswax Dyson Farming, is moving into independent research amid uncertain times over Brexit and climate change, keen to put growers in charge of this key area. Owned…


Survey reveals slump in OSR area and Group 3 wheat revival

The oilseed rape area in England and Scotland is 11% down on last year, making it the smallest area of the crop for 16 years, according to new AHDB figures.…


Hybrid feed barley Kingsbarn promises yield and quality

The new six-row hybrid barley variety from Syngenta promises consistently high yields, good disease resistance and a comparable quality to conventional two row varieties. Kingsbarn, which is officially launched to…


Oilseed rape area is set to fall as growers lose faith

The area of oilseed rape drilled this summer is likely to drop as growers fall out of love for the crop. The only unknown is how large the decline will…

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Video: Spring barley cut ahead of wheat in Cambridgeshire

Spring barley is being cut ahead of of winter wheat on James Peck’s Cambridgeshire farm and showing a good yields of 7.5-8t/ha. Mr Peck had cut some wheat for a…

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