Know How / Land preparation

Case studies

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SOILS

How one Yorkshire direct-driller is tackling a drainage problem

While direct-drilling offers many benefits through reduced soil disturbance, effective drainage is essential for good crop establishment, especially in wetter winters like last season. Lightwater Farms, based near Ripon in…

SOILS

Soil health improves after switch to new drills

Soil fertility is improving on one Berkshire estate after switching to low-disturbance drilling and cover crops to achieve a more sustainable farming system. Addressing soil health was deemed necessary after…

ARABLE

How a Cornish arable farm aims to be net zero in five years

Contract farmer Tim Williams has started on his regenerative farming journey with the aim of becoming net zero in just five years, as part of a National Lottery-funded project. The…

MAIZE

How one Devon farmer is succeeding with strip-till maize

Devon grower James Lee is a keen advocate of minimum tillage on his soils in the wetter West, but when it comes to sowing maize it carries unique challenges. Ideally,…

OILSEED RAPE

Autocasting gets oilseed rape in early to resist flea beetle

A Northamptonshire farm is sowing oilseed rape when combining the previous cereal crop, cutting costs and getting the rapeseed off to a good early start on its light land. The…

ARABLE

Integrating beef unit on arable land - do the costs add up?

Peter Lord, farm manager at Norwood Farm, near Bath teamed up with the AHDB and Adas to convert the 290ha long-term arable farm into an integrated mixed farming enterprise. He…

Practical advice

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ARABLE

Regenerative agriculture: What to avoid and how to start

Farmers considering the move to a regenerative farming system must have a plan and introduce gradual changes, or there’s a danger that they will expose their businesses to an unacceptable…

COVER CROPS

Terminating cover crops - how to get it right

Timing is essential when terminating cover crops, go too soon and limit the amount of biomass accumulation and rooting, whereas leaving it too late on heavy land can lead to…

SOILS

The Soil Health Scorecard: What it is and how to use it

A new way to quantify soil health allows farmers to measure any improvements over time, as well as identify potential problems that could be holding yields back. Until now there…

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…

BLACKGRASS

10 learnings from more than 21 years of blackgrass trials

More than two decades of work at Agrii’s Stow Longa site have shown how blackgrass can be successfully managed with plots getting as low as zero ears/sq m on a…

SOILS

Why soil measurement is a key challenge for carbon farming

Establishing a trusted measurement method is going to be critical if carbon markets are to take off for arable farmers, enabling them to earn money in return for capturing and…

Insights

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NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Advice on trimming fertiliser rates when prices are high

Growers looking to cut back on fertiliser rates next spring because of the high prices are being advised to take a field-by-field approach. Last year, fertiliser costs averaged about 65p/kg…

LAND PREPARATION

Why energy crops could fill the BPS income gap

Bioenergy crops have the potential to fill the income gap resulting from the phasing out of Basic Payment Scheme funding payments in the coming years, and they also bring other…

ARABLE

Regen farming data show variable costs cut by 18%

Latest results from the Groundswell benchmarking group show that everything is lower in a regenerative agriculture system, except for the all-important net margin. Variable costs are 18% lower, while labour…

SOILS

6 companies offering carbon-based payments to arable farmers

From government-backed schemes to voluntary private markets, there has been an explosion of interest in developing carbon and additional ecosystem service credits that could provide a new income stream for…

SOILS

How new carbon offset scheme for regenerative ag works

The first UK-certified soil carbon offsetting scheme is available to farmers who use regenerative agriculture practices, offering them a commercial opportunity worth up to £100/ha from sequestering carbon in their…

SOILS

Will soil carbon be the next big crop for growers?

It feels like a perfect storm: the urgency of climate change, the global surge in interest in regenerative agricultural practices and the need for new income streams. They are all…

SOILS

How the UK's first soil carbon mapping service works

The UK’s first carbon mapping service, capable of providing an accurate baseline measure of soil carbon levels, is now available to farmers. The technology, known as Terramap Carbon, will gauge…

SOILS

Fermenting organic matter better for soil than composting

Fermenting organic matter in a similar way to ensiling grass, rather than composting waste, can lead to greater improvements in soil health while at the same time helping farmers to…

SOILS

Tips on getting soils and rotations back on track

After one of the wettest winters on record, it could be assumed that UK arable soils will be in desperate need of first aid before the next cropping season begins.…

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.…