Know How / Other crops

There are many minor and niche break crops, such as oats and linseed, which can bring many benefits to a crop rotation. This page aims to help you grow a more profitable break crop.

This is your starting point for identifying which crops to grow, how to grow them and address challenges such as weed and disease control.

Key areas of focus:

  • Choosing the right crop and finding contracts
  • Getting establishment right
  • Meeting market specifications
  • Crop agronomy, such as disease and weed control

Advice and tips

SOILS

5 expert tips for maximising soil health

Good soil health is vital for achieving high yields and improving your soils doesn’t have to be a difficult task, says one Australian soil health expert. Simple measures like adding…

CROP SELECTION

Oat market offers opportunity for farms in the right areas

Oats are the UK’s third largest home-grown cereal crop, behind wheat and barley, and they can be a profitable addition to arable rotations. They are a useful low-input cereal break…

CROP SELECTION

What to consider when choosing next year's winter crops

Farmers are being advised to consider crops that will set them up for the next few years, rather than just focussing on those giving the highest returns in the coming…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How to get more from your on-farm crop trials

By taking some practical steps to trial design, one researcher believes farmers can improve the robustness of their tramline and split field trials, leading to more informed cropping decisions. In…

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Archive

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Winter oats yield well but barley disappoints

At this time of year “going out” for Sunday lunch to an arable farmer means a ham and tomato sandwich in one hand, combine controls in the other and your…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Challenging weed control in US soya beans

My crops look good going into August. Decent weather during planting let us get the crops planted in a timely fashion and we have had good rains that have kept…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Blackgrass threatens future of oat growing

The area around Royston has traditionally been a stronghold of oat growing – mainly winter oats, but more recently there has been a reappearance of spring oats. Winter oat crops…

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Hard to get enough labour for daffodil picking

Most of our energies over the past month have been taken up with daffodil flower picking. This year we have had a relatively compact picking period, thanks (or not) to…

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Case studies

CROP MANAGEMENT

Big and small arable monitor farmers face same challenges

Tom Mead and David Hurst operate vastly different-sized farms although they both face the same challenges of trimming fixed costs and preparing for a post-Brexit landscape. As well as farm…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How one OSR grower is benefitting from companion crops

Companion cropping is helping to offset some of the risks associated with growing 120ha of winter oilseed rape on a Worcestershire farming estate. At the same time, it is supporting…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Direct drilling is within reach for one organic grower

Oxfordshire grower James Alexander hopes to increase yields while drastically cutting his diesel bill by switching to direct drilling across his 323ha of organic cropping. The direct drilling advocate already…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

How a min-till approach can improve soil health

A change to the cultivations policy has helped a Shropshire farming estate save both time and money, while also improving the condition of its soils. The previous plough and power…

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Community

FARMER FOCUS

Farmer Focus: Poor weather delays end of soya harvest

The fall harvest in Kansas is drawing to a close. In my area, crops were very good, especially soya beans. My yields have run in the 45-55 bushels/acre (3-3.7t/ha) range.…

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Insights

WEED MANAGEMENT

How to stop blackgrass adapting to a spring cropping strategy

Blackgrass has an uncanny ability to adapt to the cultural and chemical control measures thrown at it by growers. Here, a Nuffield scholar explains his concept aimed at catching the…

ARABLE

How US farmers are tackling pollution in the Gulf of Mexico

Nutrient run-off from agricultural land is being blamed for the vast oceanic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico and farmers have responded by adopting measures more commonly seen in…

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,…

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News

BUSINESS

Growers plan new deal to supply Colman's mustard

Local farmers hope to continue growing mustard and mint for Colman's of Norwich – despite the planned closure of the company's iconic factory by owner Unilever. A consortium of mustard…

ARABLE

Biopesticides to play a greater role on arable farms

Biopesticides, such as insect-killing bacteria, will play a major role in tackling pests and diseases in the UK’s arable crops in the coming years, believes one expert. Annual approvals of…

ARABLE

Farmer grows 'on-demand' lettuces for supermarkets

A major salad grower has boosted productivity by using sophisticated techniques to predict customer demand better than the supermarkets. Cambridgeshire-based G's Growers is beating the big retailers at their own…

ARABLE

Young farmer takes the reins on big arable unit

A young Shropshire farmer who took on 450ha of land last year without family backing or Single Farm Payment has now completed his first harvest. With the high cost of…

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Test and reviews

MACHINERY

Eight of the best slug pelleters on test

We test eight of the best slug pelleters with the help of testing specialist SCS. The test KRM Stocks Techneat Spaldings Logic Bullock Verdict We tested the pelleters with the…

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Video

WEED MANAGEMENT

Video: 7 pre-season checks every sprayer should have

Spring is just around the corner and farmers up and down the land are drawing up battle plans about how best to tackle the impending mountain of work. With many…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Video: How nozzle choice affects spray quality and efficacy

Selecting the appropriate sprayer nozzle for pre-emergence weed control is an important step in cutting spray drift and maximising the efficacy of the chemicals being applied. There are four key…

ARABLE

Video: Heavy duty drone can cope with changeable UK weather

Farmers are forever being told that in the not-so-distant future drones will become a common crop monitoring tool, but what good is this technology if it cannot withstand the unique…

ARABLE

Video: How to sample your soil for analysis

The quieter winter months are a prime time to get a snapshot of the state of soils and consider any adjustments to maximise fertility and crop potential. Unlike most other…

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