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

Case studies

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OTHER CROPS

Grower finds soya a good option after late-lifted sugar beet

South Lincolnshire grower Andrew Branton has turned to soya beans as a good crop to follow late-lifted sugar beet when there is little time to drill winter wheat. With British…

OTHER CROPS

How an Essex farmer grew a crop of mammoth millet

Millet has proved to be a profitable and low-risk addition to Essex grower Christy Willett’s rotation, being easy to grow while also commanding a good price. After making the decision…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Fuel and seed costs cut in Sussex machinery loan deal

Britain’s biggest organic farm is cutting its fuel costs and making savings on expensive cereal seed in a machinery loan scheme with one of the world’s biggest tractor makers. The…

OTHER CROPS

Grower's soya crop delivers cost and blackgrass benefits

Kent soya grower Simon Ashworth is pleased with his harvest this season, viewing it as a low-cost crop which will help him prepare for Brexit, control blackgrass and provide a…

OTHER CROPS

Why rye is the ideal second cereal on one Yorkshire farm

Maize tends to be the favoured crop for anaerobic digestion because it offers the highest dry matter yields. However, on the Yorkshire Wolds, hybrid rye is matching it when grown…

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…

Practical advice

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WEED MANAGEMENT

Mechanical weeders: What are the options?

Mechanical weeders could be one way to manage weeds that are proving more difficult to tackle because of resistance and a dwindling number of actives. However, with several different models…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Rule reminder: Key pesticide stewardship guidelines

Plant protection product stewardship campaigns are now at the heart of industry efforts to prevent further losses of under-threat active ingredients. Here, we give a reminder of the key actives…

ARABLE

New advice on how to raise spring oat yields

Much-needed trials work on spring oats has revealed how farmers can get even more yield from the crop, including a 0.6t/ha lift by simply tweaking fertiliser applications. Last year was…

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…

CROP SELECTION

How to grow profitable spring crops and beat blackgrass

Spring cropping has a key role in tackling blackgrass, but which are the best crops for tackling the weed and maximising returns? Four years of trials data have come up…

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…

Insights

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ARABLE

Why UK growers should consider soya in the rotation

While other crops have suffered this season due to the hot and dry conditions, Soya has had no such problems. Its aptness for drought means growers looking to lessen the…

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,…

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…

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

Arable Horizons: What climate change means for farming

Climate change and agriculture are intrinsically linked – food production is the biggest contributor to global warming and suffers the most from its effects. This was the focus of the final Arable…

VARIETY SELECTION

How winter cropping gross margins stack up for 2017/18

Harvest is underway in some parts of the country, but for most there are still a few weeks to go before the really busy season begins. Now is an opportune time…

ARABLE

Arable Horizons: Biocontrol - will holy grail be reality?

The use of sophisticated biological pest control methods in glasshouses has been a huge success story, helping growers of high-value crops reduce or even eliminate the use of chemical pesticides.…

OTHER CROPS

Learn which specialist crops will earn you a healthy premium

There are a number of winter and spring cropping options offering farmers a profitable break crop next season by earning a healthy premium. However, they must have a market –…

Video

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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…

ARABLE

Video: How to calibrate your slug pellet spreader

Slug pellets and the potential harm they can cause to watercourses is under intensifying scrutiny. Making sure pellet spreaders are properly set up will be vital to avoid breaching the…

Video: Farmer demonstrates benefits of mixed cover crops

The advantages of growing winter cover crop soon after harvest have been highlighted at a farm on the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border. Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf) demonstration farmer Jake Freestone, from…

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…