Know How / Ploughing and cultivation

Advice on choosing the best cultivation system for your soil for soil health, cost control and crop establishment. See the pros and cons of the various tillage systems, including no-till, min-till or ploughing and help on how to prepare for switching systems without losing yield.

Advice and tips


How arable farmers can turn things around this spring

It may feel like doom and gloom at present, as any rare dry days are predictably followed by another spell of rain – a cycle that has limited field work…


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…


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…


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…

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Case studies


Drill change improves cereal crop resilience

Spring barley was the last crop to be fully drilled with the 3m Mzuri Pro-till drill and despite the tricky spring, it yielded nearly 8t/ha last summer.  Neil White believes…


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…


How a large-scale regen system is working at Dyson Farming

Implementing regenerative agriculture principles across 14,000ha is a central component of Dyson Farming’s long-term circular farming model, as it produces high-quality food with minimal environmental impact. The plan has been…


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…

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How harvest cultivations can help beat flea beetle in OSR

Shallow cultivations carried out shortly after the combine can help reduce adult flea beetle populations, but more research is needed to refine advice to growers. Speaking at a recent Limagrain…


Transition farm switch to strip-till boosts margins and soil

At a Farmers Weekly Transition project farm walk in Suffolk, Claydon Drill demonstrated how low-disturbance systems can boost soil health and improve margins. Claydon’s 360ha Gaines Hall arable farm and…


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…

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SFI trials show ditching plough improves bird numbers

Fields established using conservation agriculture systems have higher bird numbers than those cultivated using a more conventional plough-based approach, according to research. Researchers believe this is due to improved soil…


Crop Watch: Stale seed-beds need more time for weed kill

As we head further into October, pressure is rising on farmers to start drilling their wheat in bad blackgrass fields, especially if the neighbours have already made a start. However,…


Spud Watch: Avoid planting wet areas of fields

Planting finally got under way in Yorkshire and the Borders once it stopped raining and the sun came out for a day or two. Conditions are variable, to say the…


Video: Sugar beet drilling starts as growers play catch-up

Sugar beet drilling is racing ahead between the rain showers on light land with one Suffolk Brecklands estate looking to catch up from its latest start in more than a…

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Video: Sugar beet drilling starts as growers play catch-up

Sugar beet drilling is racing ahead between the rain showers on light land with one Suffolk Brecklands estate looking to catch up from its latest start in more than a…


Video: No-till wins over grower to direct-drilling

New to no-till grower Richard Boldan is driving forward his plans to convert to a reduced cultivation system for a more sustainable future, with ambitions to grow more spring crops and establish…

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