Know How / Seed-bed preparation

Seed-bed preparation is essential for good weed control and high crop germination rates. Get advice on everything you need to do between harvesting the previous crop and drilling the next one. From ploughing to ultra-low disturbance we’ve got every type of tillage practice covered.

Advice and tips

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

5 cultivation and establishment methods compared

Establishment systems cover varying degrees of soil movement, from relatively little disturbance associated with direct-drilling and min-till through to deep cultivations and complete inversion with the likes of ploughing. Each…

LAND PREPARATION

Advice on draining and restructuring waterlogged soils

The best way of draining waterlogged soils and restructuring compacted areas is to plant a crop as soon as it is feasible, and allow them to transpire the water out.…

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…

BLACKGRASS

5 tips to get the most from residual blackgrass herbicides

Residual soil-acting herbicides can account for up to half of the annual crop protection spend for winter wheat in bad blackgrass situations, so getting the best out of them is…

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Case studies

POTATOES

Video: Potato planting races ahead in rejigged farm rotation

Potato planting was racing ahead in south Somerset this month, after farm manager Ollie Blackburn rejigged his crop rotation to improve soil fertility and structure for his spuds. He hopes…

ESTABLISHMENT

Devon farmer's low-cost way to drill high-yielding cereals

Broadcasting cereal crops rather than using a conventional drill is the main crop-establishment method for one Devon family farm, which has been successfully using the low-cost technique to establish high-yielding…

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…

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

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

How a new soil scoring tool picks the best cultivation option

A new crop establishment tool which assesses a range of soil management factors is set to help farmers identify whether a change in cultivation may benefit their soils. There is…

BLACKGRASS

Why farmers should tailor blackgrass strategies to dormancy

Trials being carried out at a blackgrass research site in Cambridgeshire show that farmers can gain extra control of blackgrass with their integrated approach by taking seed dormancy results into…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Plough, min-till and no-till compared: year one

A major trial has been set up to find the most profitable and sustainable way to grow arable crops by comparing three different establishment systems over five years. Establishment systems…

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News

WEED MANAGEMENT

Flame weeding offers non-chemical alternative for stale seed-bed

A well-known vegetable grower in the south-west of England regularly uses a flame weeding machine to achieve a stale seed-bed before drilling expensive organic crops. See also: Digital weed zapper offers…

DRILLING

Farmers capitalise on dry weather as the drills come out

A dry, mild winter has resulted in ideal conditions for drilling on some soils and arable farmers are not wasting the opportunity get their beans and barley in the ground…

ESTABLISHMENT

OSR growers advised not to rush into drilling

Oilseed rape growers are being urged to wait for the right conditions for drilling rather than rushing in, as going by calendar date could risk establishment and next year’s yields.…

ESTABLISHMENT

Rapeseed drilling kicks off in Norfolk

Oilseed rape drilling is under way in Norfolk, with one large estate starting this week as recent rainfall means that even its light, blow-away sandy soil is moist enough for…

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Test and reviews

CEREAL DRILLS

New drill options for seed-bed fertiliser

New options for growers wanting to apply dry fertiliser when sowing spring cereal crops take different approaches to delivering the material, either down the same spout as the seed or…

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Video

POTATOES

Video: Potato planting races ahead in rejigged farm rotation

Potato planting was racing ahead in south Somerset this month, after farm manager Ollie Blackburn rejigged his crop rotation to improve soil fertility and structure for his spuds. He hopes…

See all