Know How / Establishment

Successful crop establishment is crucial to achieving high yields and controlling costs and ensuring the profitability of your business. See the latest thinking this season on cereals, oilseed rape, potato and sugar beet establishment, drilling and seed-bed preparation.

Case studies

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OSR growers focus on costs and yields for next season

With oilseed rape crops taking advantage of the much-needed May sunshine, our four growers taking part in our OSR Masters series are keeping a close eye on crop progress as…


4 growers on how they get oilseed rape off to the best start

Since good establishment of oilseed rape is essential for high yields we look to pick up some tips by following four growers to see how they get their crops off…


How a Hampshire farmer is managing contrasting soils

Farm manager Craig Livingstone is hoping to push wheat yields up to 10t/ha and beyond by establishing more consistent crops on his wildly contrasting chalk and clay Hampshire soils. He…


Min-till system overhaul slashes diesel and slug pelleting

There are many different establishment systems on farms across the UK, but Keith Challen had to look much further afield – to Eastern Europe – to find the drill and…


Direct drilling brings long-term rewards in Wiltshire

No cultivations have been carried out for the past three-and-a-half years at a Wiltshire farming business, since the decision was taken by the father-and-son team of George and Patric Hosier…


4 nutrients get spring barley off to a strong start

New high-performing spring barley malting varieties can show higher yields when all four of the major plant nutrients are applied in a single dose. When these four – nitrogen, phosphate,…

Practical advice

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How to control weeds when establishing oilseed rape

Controlling weeds in oilseed rape is vital for successful establishment, as the seedlings are vulnerable to competition from vigorous weeds. This is especially the case in a dry autumn when…


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…


Advice on achieving high OSR yields with good establishment

Establishment is widely recognised as the main challenge when it comes to growing a successful crop of oilseed rape, get it wrong and yield potential is compromised from the start.…


Pros and cons of 6 different OSR establishment techniques

There is a wide range of establishment methods for oilseed rape and the most suitable technique will depend on soil type, soil conditions, prevailing weather and likely weed and slug…


Top tips on tackling pests when establishing OSR

Pests are particularly troublesome during establishment, as small oilseed rape plants are very vulnerable to attack and severe infestations can wipe out parts of a field. All too often, oilseed…


What to consider when changing your establishment system

Farmers looking to change their establishment system are attracted by the promises of improved weed control and cheaper cultivations; however, getting it wrong can prove to be a costly mistake.…


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What the 5 new sugar beet varieties offer

Five newly recommended sugar beet varieties offer growers up to 7.6% extra yield, as well as a step up in yield for a specialist variety for fields infested with rhizomania.…


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…


Low BYDV risk this season sends cheer to embattled growers

A lower barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) risk this season could cut cereal establishment costs by eliminating the need for a seed dressing. This could be the silver lining for…


Min-till and flexible drilling leads to bigger wheat yields

Minimum tillage and flexible drilling dates can increase winter wheat yields and profitability when compared with ploughing and rigid sowing times. Top wheat growers with the highest gross margins tended…


Growers highlight soil and cost advantages of using no-till

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to putting no-tillage cultivation techniques into practice, but there is a basic recipe that everyone can follow. Minimal soil disturbance, diverse rotations and…


Video: Maintain potato yields and cut cultivation costs

An investigation into the best cultivation strategies for potato production has found that growers could make savings without affecting yields by cultivating shallower. AHDB-sponsored work by Niab CUF at a…


Agronomists give their no-till crop establishment verdict

Low crop prices are forcing growers to reassess their costs, and ditching the plough for a no-till approach offers savings of up to 40% on establishment. However, this push for…


Building a case for no-till crop establishment

Whether at grower meetings, hashtagged on your Twitter feed or even featured on BBC’s Countryfile on a Sunday evening, “no-till” enthusiasts are certainly making a lot of noise. Global grain…


Zero metaldehyde zones give mixed results

Mixed results have been reported by the water companies involved in the four zero metaldehyde pilot projects, resulting in some changes to the pilot schemes in the coming season. The…


Cut nutrient and sediment losses with cover crops and min-till

Collaboration between scientists and a top UK arable farm is identifying strategies to reduce the environmental impact of arable farming without slashing farm profits. Crop production accounts for about 30%…


OSR under threat as farmers question its future

As thoughts start to turn to cropping for the 2015-16 season, predictions suggest that oilseed rape will be the main casualty of rotational changes as farmers cut back or drop…


Direct drilling boosts second wheat yields by more than 1t/ha

Direct drilling second winter wheats could improve yields by over 1t/ha while also reducing input costs, according to trials carried out by a leading specialist over seven years. Results from…