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

BLACKGRASS

4 reasons why blackgrass strategies are failing to deliver

Reducing the weed seed bank is a key objective when tackling blackgrass, and early results from a project looking at seed numbers suggest four reasons why farmers aren’t seeing the…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Wheat growers urged to aim for 15t/ha yields

Most winter wheat growers should be able to reach yields of 15t/ha, as some farmers across the country are already hitting these levels. Roger Sylvester-Bradley, head of crop performance at…

DRILLING

How to get undrilled fields back on track after wet winter

Time has nearly run out for drilling winter wheat crops, leaving farmers to decide which spring crop to grow or even whether to fallow areas that remain undrilled after one…

ESTABLISHMENT

Top tips for high yielding late-drilled wheat crops

Growers have the potential to achieve good crops of winter wheat even if they are drilling into November, if they choose the right seed rate, varieties and opt for a…

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Case studies

WHEAT

Why a grower is taking radical step of leaving wheat area fallow

Sussex grower Mark Chandler will leave his entire winter wheat area fallow on his contracted land this year to preserve the rotation. Switching to spring barley to salvage a crop…

SUGAR BEET

Strip-till slashes establishment costs for sugar beet grower

George Sly is slashing the cost of growing sugar beet by using a strip-till cultivator he designed himself, which is also improving his heavy Lincolnshire silty soils. His machine can…

SOILS

Three Canadian farmers reveal their secrets to soil health

Heavy soils, late harvested crops like soya and a yearly rainfall exceeding 1,000mm is the perfect combination for compaction, which is why southern Ontario farmers focus so much on soil…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Grower's precision drill helps counter flea beetle threat

Wiltshire grower Martin Smart has invested in a new precision drill to give his oilseed rape a head start after on-farm trials showed that direct drilling helped his crops survive…

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Insights

VARIETY SELECTION

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…

SOILS

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…

CROP MANAGEMENT

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…

DRILLING

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.…

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News

SUGAR BEET

British Sugar sees higher beet area offset by lower yields

British Sugar expects a higher area of sugar beet drilled this spring to be offset by lower beet yields, to leave overall sugar production unchanged at 1.18 million tonnes. The…

SUGAR BEET

Two-thirds of sugar beet drilled as weather turns drier

Two large sugar beet growing estates finished drilling last weekend in excellent sowing conditions, as two-thirds of the national crop is now in the ground. After a wet winter, light…

SUGAR BEET

Perfect drilling conditions for sugar beet in Suffolk

Sugar beet drilling kicked off this week in near-perfect conditions on one large Suffolk Breckland estate, with seed being planted into plenty of moisture just  below the soil surface. Euston…

BARLEY

Stop-start progress for early spring barley drilling in Norfolk

Spring barley drilling is making stop-start progress between the showers on one large north Norfolk farm estate, although better weather is forecast. The Holkham estate has doubled its normal area…

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Opinion

OPINION

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

CEREAL DRILLS

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…

CEREAL DRILLS

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

DRILLING

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.…

DRILLING

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.…

HARVEST

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…

ESTABLISHMENT

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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