Know How / Land preparation

Getting your land ready for drilling and planting is crucial to getting crops off to the best start. Find practical guidance on improving your soil health, making good quality seed-beds, ploughing and cultivation techniques and choosing the right cover crops. Read advice on preparing land for wheat, barley, potatoes and sugar beet crops.

Case studies

See all

PEST MANAGEMENT

How a grower uses cultivations and tech to kill slugs

Slugs have been a major headache for North Yorkshire grower Graham Potter since he switched from a plough-based crop establishment system to direct drilling. But with proactive implementation of integrated…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Grower plans move to organic no-till on wet land

The best decision Staffordshire grower Tim Parton made during his transition to direct drilling was to sell his power harrow after he made the switch to a Claydon strip-till drill…

COVER CROPS

Essex arable farmer tries out easycare sheep

A new breed of easycare sheep that naturally sheds its wool and has good resistance to worms has convinced an Essex grower to reintroduce livestock into her arable rotation. The…

SOILS

How to identify and encourage worms to improve soils

Earthworms are a key measure of soil health, as they can mobilise locked-up minerals, help drainage and spread organic matter to improve soil structure. Therefore, we travelled to one of…

POTATOES

One-pass potato establishment cuts costs and improves yields

Trials by crop consultants Niab Cuf have revealed that intensive cultivations have no benefit on potato yields, tuber size or quality, marking it out as a process that farmers can…

SOILS

Award-winning grower explains strategy for top notch soils

Home-made compost combined with an extremely diverse rotation and minimal soil disturbance has the cut the inputs and agronomic management needed on Simon Cowell’s farm at Lawrence, near Southminster, Essex.…

Practical advice

See all

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Why cultural control is key to keeping potato blight at bay

The strains of blight that potato growers face in protecting their crops are becoming ever more aggressive, as only the fittest survive. A good example is the recent strain 36A2.…

SOILS

How growers can improve soil management decisions

A way of benchmarking soil health plus a tool aimed at helping farmers tackle soil compaction were among the highlights at Farmers Weekly’s Soils in Practice 2018 event. We take…

SOILS

7 steps to successful subsoiling

Subsoiling can be effective technique to solve soil compaction problems. However, if done at the wrong time or incorrect depth, it can cause more problems than it solves. Soil compaction…

SOILS

Tips on assessing the health of your soil

A healthy soil is described as a living system that helps to maintain and enhance the natural environment, which in turn makes for more productive crops. That’s a shortened version…

SOILS

Advice on reducing soil erosion in arable fields

Soil erosion is a natural process that can be slow and continue virtually unnoticed or may occur at an alarming rate and involve huge amounts of soil being lost from…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Tips on selecting the right cultivator for your soils

Farmers often put a huge amount of effort into selecting the right drill to get cereal crops off to the best start in the autumn, but picking the wrong cultivator…

Insights

See all

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…

ARABLE

Can arable farming and wildlife conservation work together?

Farming is coming under greater pressure to halt the decline in wildlife. A major government project hopes to provide some of the answers in coming years, by balancing greater diversity with…

SOILS

Two high-tech solutions to tackle poor soil health

With soil fertility and sustainability in the spotlight, two high-tech projects at the University of Plymouth could revolutionise the way farmers think about this precious resource. Scientists look to create…

SOILS

Grower with award-winning soils reveals benefits of bacteria to ...

Modern wheat varieties have been shown to be able to support colonies of nutrient-unlocking soil fungi in trials held by agronomy company ProCam. Samples of root taken from the Essex…

SOILS

Award-winning grower explains strategy for top notch soils

Home-made compost combined with an extremely diverse rotation and minimal soil disturbance has the cut the inputs and agronomic management needed on Simon Cowell’s farm at Lawrence, near Southminster, Essex.…

SOILS

Expert advice on managing soils better

Soil health has risen to the top of the agenda for the agricultural industry over recent years. At the recent Farmers Weekly Soils in Practice event on a Lincolnshire farm,…

ARABLE

How 'conservation agriculture' can improve soil health

Adopting the fundamental principles of “conservation agriculture” has huge potential for nursing depleted arable soils back to health and correct implementation is key to its success. Conservation agriculture is defined…

WHEAT

Min-till and flexible drilling leads to bigger wheat yields

Minimum tillage and flexible drilling dates can increase winter wheat yields and profitability when compared with ploughing and rigid sowing times. Top wheat growers with the highest gross margins tended…

ARABLE

How companion crops can slash inputs by 30%

Growing more than one crop could play a valuable role on UK farms, through raising yields and slashing the need for inputs, and it may even help solve problems such as barley…

MAIZE

How maize growers are countering critics with good husbandry

Maize growers are countering controversial claims that the crop is damaging to the environment by promoting good agricultural practice. A “maize charter” that is being trialled in southern England aims to encourage…

SOILS

Arable Horizons: How science and tech could save our soils

Our soils are in trouble. That has been the clear and much-publicised message from the scientific community in recent years. But despite the gloomy headlines, Wilfred Otten of the Cranfield…