Know How / Drilling

Get guidance on the right conditions for drilling for successful crop establishment.  See the pros and cons of different establishment techniques, including min till and direct drilling, how to get good seed to soil contact for rapid establishment and how to cover off early weed and pest threats.

Advice and tips


Why primed OSR seed could help with crop establishment

A new oilseed rape variety will be available this summer only as primed seed which is aimed at helping with early establishment and coping with early pest attacks and dry…


Advice on choosing winter wheat to reduce fungicide spend

Winter wheat growers who match up their choice of varieties and drilling dates to disease-controlling fungicide programmes could trim their spraying costs this spring. Agrochemical costs are being driving higher…


Majority of oilseed rape crop gets off to a flying start

Nearly two-thirds of oilseed rape crops are better established this autumn as many growers have moved to earlier drilling to avoid the ravages of cabbage stem flea beetles. More growers…


How to tackle the spring milling oat challenge

The quest for spring oats to be a consistent, profitable crop that meets millers’ requirements continues after another difficult year for getting the best from the crop. A wide range…

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Case studies


Video: Sugar beet drilling success with near-perfect weather

Sugar beet drilling is racing to a close in the current dry weather with higher beet prices and the availability of a key virus yellows seed treatment prompting more optimism…


Regen ag: Why farmers need to give the system time to deliver

Farmers who have begun putting regenerative farming in practice are becoming more confident about the system and are finding that the rewards vastly outweigh the risks. Farmers Weekly spoke to…


Strip-tilling sugar beet - two growers' experiences

Lower establishment costs, retaining soil moisture and reduced impact on soil health are all reasons to consider a strip-till cultivation system for establishing sugar beet. The system produces a narrow,…


How direct-drilling slashed fuel costs by 30% on Lincs farm

Making radical changes to crop establishment, such as ditching the plough and power harrow, could help farmers fill the income gap resulting from the loss of BPS payments. This is…

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Is there still a need for costly wheat seed treatments?

Cereal growers are increasingly questioning the need for chemical seed treatments as they continue to improve soil health, encourage soil biology and drive down costs. With autumn drilling under way,…


Why more research is needed for no-till wheat variety picks

More scientific information on how different wheat varieties perform in no-till systems is needed, as growers are having to make selections based on limited data. As the establishment method increases…


Is regenerative agriculture the future of arable farming?

A growing number of farmers are overhauling their systems and are now farming in a way that has little impact on soil health, includes greater diversity and leads to more…


How a better understanding of oat agronomy will lift yields

Researchers are addressing the urgent need for better agronomy knowledge for spring oats, which has the potential to become a high-yielding breakcrop. Not only will the new benchmark figures help…

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Twitter round-up: Warm weather kickstarts spring drilling race

The recent spell of warm, dry weather has allowed many growers to get into full the swing of spring drilling alongside applications of manure and compost. With crops going into…


SFI trials show ditching plough improves bird numbers

Fields established using conservation agriculture systems have higher bird numbers than those cultivated using a more conventional plough-based approach, according to research. Researchers believe this is due to improved soil…


Sugar output up after 2020's virus yellows-hit beet crop

Sugar production from Britain’s sugar beet crop is set to rise more than 10% with a smaller drilled crop area offset by a recovery in yields after last season’s virus…


Rain prompts fears of repeat wet autumn

Rain and stormy weather have prompted concern that UK farmers could be in for a repeat of last year’s wet autumn. Eastern England is experiencing heavy rain and strong winds…

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FW Opinion: Farmers shouldn't bear full cost of wild weather

Uncertainty in farming is nothing new – whether it's late support payments, commodity price swings, or changing consumer trends. But it seems each year is becoming more of a gamble…

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Test and reviews


How new tech turns standard drill into variable-rate system

Thanks to a new drill-conversion kit, arable farmers hoping to adopt an adjustable-rate system can now simply and affordably convert any standard drill into variable-rate capacity. Developed by crop production…


Driver's View: Steve Heard's John Deere 750A drill

Leicestershire farmer Steve Heard imported and assembled his own John Deere no-till drill – he gives us his verdict on how it has performed, what he most likes about it…


Driver’s view: Sky Easy Drill

Cambridgeshire grower Edward Davison picks out the best and worst points of his Sky Easy Drill, which he bought in 2016 when his crop yields were hammered by a high…

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Video: High-pressure water tech aids direct drilling success

Replacing drill coulters with a high-pressure jet to open up the soil will not only improve germination, its inventors believe it can aid rooting by cracking compaction and aerating soils.…


Video: Min-till drill-off the highlight of Cereals 2018

Cereals show-goers were treated to a drill-off at this year’s event, giving them chance to see how five different low soil-disturbance systems deal with the challenge of a cover crop.…


Video: Drilling OSR companion crop follows early wheat harvest

Drilling a companion crop is the order of the day for Cambridgeshire grower David White as soon as early-maturing winter wheat is cut on his light soils. He is sowing…


9 amazing grower videos to celebrate spring drilling

Spring drilling and potato planting is progressing well across the country, as soil temperatures climb and drier weather helps growers get on heavier land. It isn't all work and no fun,…

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