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

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…

ESTABLISHMENT

How to carry out a pre-season check on a StocksAg seeder

It wasn’t long ago that the little applicator was a slug pellet only machine, but in recent years it has gained a new lease of life as a second seed…

ESTABLISHMENT

Practical tips for growers sticking with oilseed rape

Farmers reluctant to grow oilseed rape again after a terrible year for establishment are being offered plenty of advice and incentives to stick with the crop ahead of the new…

BARLEY

Tips on getting high spring barley yields in a tough season

Late drilling, followed by a hot, dry summer, meant spring cereal crops struggled on many farms in 2018, although some spring barley growers managed to deliver yields exceeding 8t/ha. A…

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Case studies

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…

DRILLING

Grower makes direct drilling work on the west coast

Being prepared to take a step backwards has allowed Merseyside grower Olly Harrison to make the transition to no-till despite farming on the west coast. Mr Harrison, who farms on…

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Insights

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.…

ESTABLISHMENT

On-farm establishment trial shows best system in a dry year

Dry conditions for the second year in a row have highlighted the importance of establishment method. Systems which allowed crops to get their roots down in search of moisture were…

ESTABLISHMENT

Smart drill add-on offers real-time variable applications

A clever gadget that provides planter operators with real-time soil data for on-the-fly variable-rate seed and fertiliser applications could soon feature on UK farms after a recent Agco acquisition. Illinois-based…

MAIZE

Why drilling maize deeper and later could be future trend

Drilling maize later and up to depths of 7cm could be a useful strategy in light of two likely seed treatment reviews. Maize growers are preparing in earnest for the…

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News

WHEAT

Wet autumn leads to surge in spring seed cereal demand

Seed traders are seeing huge demand for spring seed, particularly wheat, barley and beans, as autumn drillers struggle to get crops into the ground in such wet weather. Spring wheat…

DRILLING

Kent wheat grower 85% drilled up, running three weeks late

Kent wheat grower Robert Spencer is expecting a hit to his yields, although he is fortunate enough to be 85% drilled up on his free-draining land. He has 500ha of…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Cereal yields set to fall after wet weather delays to drilling

Cereal yields could be down this season as growers struggle to drill during the wet autumn. Many may switch to lower-yielding spring-sown crops. Growers and agronomists warn that very late-sown…

CROP WATCH

Crop Watch: OSR crops written off and cereals not drilled

It is proving to be a very challenging autumn for many arable farmers, with one agronomist estimating that 35% of his oilseed rape has already been written off in 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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