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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CROP MANAGEMENT

Miscanthus fuels Norfolk grower's desire to improve soil

Adam Brewer has turned to growing miscanthus to improve his soils and the environment, while also giving him a profitable low-input crop for his north Norfolk farm. The crop will…

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

Winter barley abandoned for triticale on Shropshire farm

A Shropshire grower is swapping to triticale this spring after a wet autumn prevented him from drilling more than half of his winter barley area. With its tolerance to drought,…

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

Ancient grains deliver top prices for organic farmer

Organic grower Tim Sellers' rotation of primitive and ancient grains has allowed him to weather market volatility by supplying the growing artisan bread and granola market. Both spelt, which is…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Organic grower turns to sheep to control weeds

Shropshire organic grower Mark Lea was concerned that docks might become a nuisance weed on his farm and, as he could not reach for a chemical can, he turned to…

OTHER CROPS

Soya suits Bedford grower’s battle against blackgrass

Bedfordshire grower Matt Broadhurst turned to soya beans to help control blackgrass and improve his soils, and is looking forward to a good harvest later this month. He is hoping…

SOILS

Three Canadian farmers reveal their secrets to soil health

Heavy soils, late harvested crops like soya and a yearly rainfall exceeding 1,000mm is the perfect combination for compaction, which is why southern Ontario farmers focus so much on soil…

Practical advice

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CROP MANAGEMENT

Tips on growing a successful crop of naked oats

While naked oat crops require fewer inputs than other cereals, careful management including the robust use of growth regulators, is vital for maximising yields. Some growers have been forced to…

SOILS

How to raise headland yields by cutting soil compaction risk

Yields on field headlands are typically 10% lower than the rest of the field, which is why farmers will benefit from measures that minimise the impact of increased traffic on…

ESTABLISHMENT

How to carry out a pre-season check on a StocksAg seeder

It wasn’t long ago that the little applicator was a slug pellet only machine, but in recent years it has gained a new lease of life as a second seed…

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…

Insights

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CROP SELECTION

Canary seed offers low cost alternative crop for growers

Canary seed could offer an alternative option for growers looking for a niche cereal that is simple to establish, has low input costs and is easy to harvest. The crop…

VARIETY SELECTION

Variety verdict: How Recommended List additions aid growers

Four new high-yielding oilseed rape varieties have come in at the top of the Recommended List for the UK, as Limagrain’s breeding programme comes to fruition. Six out of the…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How wet weather is affecting cropping plans and farm finances

One of the most difficult autumns in memory for arable farmers is causing widespread disruption to fieldwork and rotations, threatening to put a giant dent in 2020 crop performance and…

HARVEST

Two diquat alternatives trialled in linseed

Two alternatives to diquat for desiccating linseed crops are currently being trialled, with the aim of being available to growers for harvest 2020. Linseed growers currently only have two options…

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

The new crops that could soon profit UK farmers

White and purple wheats, food barleys, special types of beans, oats for health drinks and even chickpeas are some of the novel crop options being investigated by Agrii. Farmers can…

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…

Video

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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…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Video: Garford weeder ends crop failures at organic farm

Since starting to weed his cereal crops five years ago with a Garford mechanical hoe, organic grower Robert Hyde hasn’t lost any of his crops to weeds. In the past…

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…

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…