Know How / Cover crops

Get advice on the best cover crop mixture to improve the fertility and structure of your soil. Choices may be vetch, phacelia, mustard, oats or oil radish depending on the needs of your soil. See when the time is right to kill off your cover crops ready for drilling the next crop.

Advice and tips

PEST MANAGEMENT

How farms can reduce insecticides with natural pest control

A diverse landscape with lots of habitat is the best way to encourage the beneficial insects that are needed to provide natural pest control and replace the use of insecticides…

COVER CROPS

5 top grower mistakes with cover crops and how to avoid them

Grow cover crops effectively and they can increase soil organic matter, cycle nutrients, protect soils from erosion and increase profitability. Get it wrong and you may see poorer establishment from…

LAND PREPARATION

How to use active fallows to repair soils on undrilled land

Growers with land left undrilled this year should consider the use of active fallow to improve soil condition and prepare the ground for next autumn’s drillings. In an active fallow,…

COVER CROPS

How to manage fallow land hit by wet winter weather

Many growers will be forced to leave land fallow this season and, although that means no income, there are big benefits from higher crop yields in the future and herbicide…

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Case studies

POTATOES

How a biotic farmer deals with insect pests and weeds

Growing top-quality seed potatoes is a challenge no matter how you farm. But not many would consider growing them without any insecticide, herbicide, fungicide or synthetic fertiliser – yet that’s…

POTATOES

Video: How a US potato grower is slashing pesticide use

Growing potatoes on a commercial scale with virtually zero synthetic inputs would seem impossible, but this is exactly what one US farmers has achieved using what he calls “biotic farming”,…

SOILS

How biology delivers high yields with fewer chemical inputs

Nature has provided most of the answers for the balanced farming system manager Tim Parton is running in Staffordshire, which is delivering double-digit wheat yields with a much reduced reliance…

SOILS

How a mixed farm uses a regenerative system to combat weather

The last two seasons have really tested just how resilient both Edwin Taylor’s soils and farming business are to the effects of the climate. Farming 800ha at 230m above sea…

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Community

ARABLE

Farmer Focus: Cover crops v blackgrass control

One of my favourite meals is bangers and mash, but I definitely don’t like mush. When the first “Beast from the East” roared in, it certainly dried out the soils.…

ARABLE

Farmer Focus: Playing the long game with cover crops

Planting of our summer crops is in full swing here in South Africa. It might be summer but on 17 November we had a frost. Fortunately, my maize was young…

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Insights

COVER CROPS

Why a farmer is establishing catch crops with a sprayer

A farmer in Lincolnshire is trialling a new way of sowing catch crops, by adapting his sprayer to sow the seed in a standing crop of vining peas. Arable farmer…

COVER CROPS

6 key findings from the AHDB's latest cover crop research

Cover crops are firmly entrenched as a core component of regenerative agriculture, but many growers are finding it difficult to know how to fit them into their rotation or, even…

SOILS

Is regenerative agriculture the future of arable farming?

A growing number of farmers are overhauling their systems and are now farming in a way that has little impact on soil health, includes greater diversity and leads to more…

SOILS

Top tips to achieve more resilient and sustainable soils

One of the most common questions for farmers relating to “soil health” is how best to measure it and monitor progress once they have embarked on a mission to improve…

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News

LAND PREPARATION

Advice service launched to help farmers with regenerative ag

A new agronomy and consultancy service has been launched to help farmers adopt regenerative agriculture. Groundswell Agronomy, which comes just as farmers face reductions with the Basic Payment Scheme and…

ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEMES

Cover crop scheme target doubled after first year success

A cover crop scheme to reduce nitrates in water has been extended to draw in more farms across parts of the south and east of England. A pilot for the…

COVER CROPS

Research shows cover crops can triple worm numbers

New research has found that growing cover crops and reducing cultivations can triple earthworm numbers, resulting in healthier soil. Earthworms are a key indicator of soil health as their activity…

COVER CROPS

Scottish cover crop trial shows lift in spring barley yields

A Scottish trial has revealed that growing cover crops can lift yields by up to 0.6t/ha in a following crop of spring barley.   The three-year trial compared crops of Concerto…

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Video

POTATOES

Video: How a US potato grower is slashing pesticide use

Growing potatoes on a commercial scale with virtually zero synthetic inputs would seem impossible, but this is exactly what one US farmers has achieved using what he calls “biotic farming”,…

COVER CROPS

Video: Crimper trial aims to kill cover crops without herbicides

The holy grail of crimping is for cover crops to slowly die into a weed-supressing mat, covering the soil without the use of chemical sprays or the plough. For an…

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.…

COVER CROPS

Video: 5 key points for destroying your cover crops

Timing is key when killing off cover crops with one expert suggesting a herbicide needs to be used some three to four weeks before a spring crop is drilled. Some…

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