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

PULSES

Autumn-sown spring beans could fill winter seed shortage 

Spring beans can be successfully drilled in the autumn without any major dip in yield, which may help overcome a shortage of winter bean seed this coming season. The Processors and…

WHEAT

Advice on best drilling date for winter wheat

The best time to drill winter wheat can vary, whether you farm in England or Scotland, as delayed drilling is often advised south of the border, while the earlier the…

DRILLING

The big question: Drill wheat early or late this autumn?

The very wet winter of 2019 left many wheat growers struggling to get crops in the ground, particularly those who opted for delayed drilling for blackgrass control. Based on that…

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…

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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

DRILLING

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…

OILSEED RAPE

Smaller oilseed rape crop looks good with low beetle damage

The area of oilseed rape drilled this summer is set to be down on last season, although with good establishment ironically the harvest area next year could well be higher.…

DRILLING

Most wheat growers not tempted to drill early this autumn

The vast majority of winter wheat growers plan to drill at the same time as usual, and are not tempted to sow earlier after last year's wet difficult autumn. Heavy…

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…

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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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