Know How / Land preparation

Case studies

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COVER CROPS

Nuffield Scholar assesses the benefits of cover cropping

Cover crops are the keystone to the biological, chemical and physical function of the soil. This is according to Northamptonshire arable farmer and 2022 Nuffield Scholar Toby Simpson, whose study…

ARABLE

How long-term cover cropping transformed a US farm’s soil

In the Brandt Family Farm office, there is a collection of 15 soil cores taken from various fields across the farm with different soil types. Most were taken in 2009,…

SOILS

Why cultivation equipment is making a comeback on farm

For the past eight years a direct drill was the only piece of equipment Wiltshire mixed arable and beef farmer George Hosier has used to establish his arable crops. So…

ELM

2023 SFI to regain lost third of BPS for Warwickshire grower

Paul Wilson is hoping to secure one-third of the money he received from an old area-based subsidy scheme as he puts the finishing touches to a new farm environmental plan…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How Wold Top Brewery barley grower lowered carbon footprint

The Yorkshire farming family behind the successful Wold Top Brewery and Yorkshire’s first single-malt whisky distillery is using the latest precision mapping technology in its drive towards a low-carbon, sustainable…

COVER CROPS

Why cover crops have to work hard for Cereals event host

While farm manager Will Baker is a fan of cover cropping, he believes they have to work hard earning their place in the rotation at the Nottinghamshire estate. They have…

Practical advice

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CROP MANAGEMENT

SFI 2023: The support options for arable growers

Arable growers are being encouraged to enter the new 2023 Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) for England as it is simpler and more flexible than previous financial support packages. The new…

DRILLING

Oats come out top in heavy land direct drilling trial

Oats gave a higher yield and profit margin when direct drilled compared with minimum tillage in an eight-year trial, due largely to the cereal crop showing a very vigorous growth…

POTATOES

Shallower potato cultivation depths recommended in wet season

Potato growers are advised to reduce cultivation depths this season to improve soil condition and work rates, as persistent rain stops play. With the optimum planting window narrowing, independent potato…

COVER CROPS

A guide to catch cropping before autumn cereals

While many farmers are growing cover crops over winter before spring crops, there is also the possibility of establishing a catch crop between harvest and an autumn-drilled crop. The key…

SOILS

5 steps to introducing a no-till approach on arable farms

Farmer-led organisation Base-UK will be recommending a five-stage approach to adopting regenerative farming at Cereals, for growers looking to start their no-till journey. The five steps are: 1. Have a…

SOILS

How to build a bioreactor to produce your own on-farm biology

Building biology on your farm doesn’t need to cost the earth, although it does require a level of patience. There is more than one way to increase microbial activity in…

Insights

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COVER CROPS

What French cover crop trials are helping growers understand

Research into the best varieties of cover crop species, what seed rates to use and different establishment techniques are part of a 300 plot cover crop trials platform being run…

SOILS

What is the true value of on-farm soil organic matter?

Increasing soil carbon stocks and organic matter seems to be an industry-wide goal for many farmers, but what value does it really have? Are growers aiming to increase yield and…

COVER CROPS

How sound and smell could help improve agronomy practices

Do we make enough use of all our senses to help improve agronomy? Visual observation remains key and auto-technology identifying weeds, pests and diseases is becoming an increasingly achievable goal.…

ARABLE

Herbal leys help halve nitrogen fertiliser use for wheat

Winter wheat growers could halve their nitrogen fertiliser rates after using a three-year herbal ley and not see a fall in yield compared with an all-arable rotation. Introducing a multi-species…

SOILS

Can climate change champion biochar match its potential?

Soil improver, waste recycler and atmospheric carbon capturer – there’s a lot of excitement about the potential benefits of biochar. Equally, there are a lot of unknowns about whether that…

COVER CROPS

Research quantifies role of cover crops in carbon capture

Five years of trial work in Northamptonshire have shown that cover crops in a direct drilling system removed 27t/ha of carbon dioxide equivalents, highlighting their role in reducing a farm’s…

SOILS

Why one landowner is opting for a biodiversity net gain scheme

An Essex landowner is likely to take up to 17% of his 400ha of arable out of production in favour of a biodiversity net gain scheme, while potentially producing and…

DRILLING

Direct-drilling: Main findings from major five-year trial

Farming on heavy land in Leicestershire, Joe Stanley was skeptical that reducing cultivations by adopting a direct-drilling system would increase farm profitability and improve the environment. But after seeing the…

SOILS

The benefits of applying worm casts to soils for farmers

A group of worm farmers have formed an alliance to offer growers a nutrient-rich soil conditioner derived from high-quality worm casts to promote crop and soil health. Earthworms play a…

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Regenerative agriculture: What does the evidence say?

Regenerative farming systems go beyond the "feelgood factor" and are helping to reduce emissions, increase biodiversity, enhance public goods and deliver higher farm profits, according to research findings. At this…

SOILS

The benefits of integrating trees into productive arable land

Trees can sometimes be viewed as an awkward obstacle in arable fields, but their strategic integration can help deliver multiple benefits to create productive farming systems. Agroforestry combines trees and…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Will arable farmers opt for Sustainable Farming Incentive?

Finally, there's some clarity about what the Sustainable Farming Incentive will offer, with six new standards on top of the three existing ones, three-year agreements, quarterly payments, and simpler online…