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


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…


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…


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…


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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Case studies


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…


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…


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…


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…

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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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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…


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…


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…

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Soya on the rise as area nearly doubles this spring

Tristan Baxter-Smith is part of an expanding group of arable farmers growing soya which has seen the crop’s area nearly double this spring. Looking for a profitable break crop on…


UK soya growers gain two valuable pesticide options

UK soya growers now have pesticide options for managing both an important pest and a fungal disease, following the approval of two products. Up to now, soya growers have had…


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…


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…

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Test and reviews


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: 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…


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…


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…


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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