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 grow profitable spring crops and beat blackgrass

Spring cropping has a key role in tackling blackgrass, but which are the best crops for tackling the weed and maximising returns? Four years of trials data have come up…


What the 2018 winter wheat varieties offer growers

Most of the newly recommended winter wheat varieties for this coming autumn have more yield to offer, but that’s considered unlikely to be enough to tempt growers to make sweeping…


Oat market offers opportunity for farms in the right areas

Oats are the UK’s third largest home-grown cereal crop, behind wheat and barley, and they can be a profitable addition to arable rotations. They are a useful low-input cereal break…


Expert pointers on winter barley variety choices

Winter barley has fallen out of favour on many British farms in recent years due to a combination of its unattractive gross margins and farmers turning to spring cropping to…

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Case studies


Grower's soya crop delivers cost and blackgrass benefits

Kent soya grower Simon Ashworth is pleased with his harvest this season, viewing it as a low-cost crop which will help him prepare for Brexit, control blackgrass and provide a…


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…


Added-value crops help manage risk on variable soils

Growing crops for added value premiums allows Northampton farmer Rick Davies to offset the extra income against the effects of cropping highly variable soils. With 404ha of combinable crops being…


Why a Sussex farmer is changing his crop rotation

Sussex farmer Mark Chandler is searching for the best cropping combination for his farm near Petworth that will deliver blackgrass benefits and enable his first wheats to achieve double-digit yields. …

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Top quality wheats may cut imports and reduce Brexit risks

Britain’s biggest flour miller, Whitworths, is urging wheat growers to produce very high quality grain which could replace imports and help shield them from the uncertainties of Brexit. The privately-owned…


The best spring cropping options for your farm

Arable growers are set to switch further into spring cropping to tackle blackgrass, cut input costs and make the most of niche markets, and spring barley is often seen as…


Why spring wheat can be more profitable than spring barley

Spring wheat can earn growers more money than spring barley with a potential gross margin of over £800/ha and offer them a competitive crop to counter troublesome grassweeds. According to…

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Growers urged to book spring bean seed to beat shortage

Spring pea and bean growers are being urged to order seed early to avoid disappointment following a poor harvest, with the situation being especially acute for spring bean seed. Low…


Dorset grower looks for a second season with soya

One Dorset grower is planning to drill soya beans for a second season despite a mediocre yield in his first attempt, driven by a desire to grow a protein crop…


Crop Watch: Battling flea beetles and blackgrass

Oilseed rape crops coming under attack from flea beetle and keeping on top of blackgrass this autumn are two key issues for our agronomists this week. There are hopes the…


Survey shows shift to spring cropping continues

Arable growers are continuing to shift from winter- to spring-sown barley varieties, according to the final results of AHDB’s 2018 annual crop survey. The Early Bird Survey of cropping intentions…

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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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