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

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…

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…

Practical advice

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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…

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…

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 –…

ARABLE

How companion crops can slash inputs by 30%

Growing more than one crop could play a valuable role on UK farms, through raising yields and slashing the need for inputs, and it may even help solve problems such as barley…

Video

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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…

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…