Know How / Potatoes / Land preparation

Doing less to get is way forward with potatoes so careful cultivations are key to bed formation and preparation, as is accuracy of seed placement. See how to avoid compaction, reduce cultivations and bring costs down by following the latest advice on soil management and best cultivation practice.

Case studies

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SOILS

Potato grower increases worm numbers with cover crops

A Shropshire grower is trying to limit the damaging effect of heavy cultivations for potato crops to his light soils through the use of cover crops. He has seen worm…

SOILS

How to identify and encourage worms to improve soils

Earthworms are a key measure of soil health, as they can mobilise locked-up minerals, help drainage and spread organic matter to improve soil structure. Therefore, we travelled to one of…

POTATOES

One-pass potato establishment cuts costs and improves yields

Trials by crop consultants Niab Cuf have revealed that intensive cultivations have no benefit on potato yields, tuber size or quality, marking it out as a process that farmers can…

POTATOES

Nematode-infested spud farm trials control methods

A Shropshire estate being tested by very high levels of potato cyst nematode (PCN) is throwing open its gates to allow other growers in the region to learn from how…

POTATOES

Scottish spud farm puts trial research into practice

Work is under way at a potato farm in Scotland to apply spud research in areas including cultivation, seed spacing and cover cropping at commercial farm level. The AHDB’s new…

ARABLE

Work under way to slash water wastage in potato fields

Tramline compaction is causing potato growers to waste up to 14% of the water falling on their fields, and also risks nutrient and spray pollution into the environment. Water flowing…

Practical advice

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DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Why cultural control is key to keeping potato blight at bay

The strains of blight that potato growers face in protecting their crops are becoming ever more aggressive, as only the fittest survive. A good example is the recent strain 36A2.…

SOILS

How growers can improve soil management decisions

A way of benchmarking soil health plus a tool aimed at helping farmers tackle soil compaction were among the highlights at Farmers Weekly’s Soils in Practice 2018 event. We take…

SOILS

7 steps to successful subsoiling

Subsoiling can be effective technique to solve soil compaction problems. However, if done at the wrong time or incorrect depth, it can cause more problems than it solves. Soil compaction…

SOILS

Tips on assessing the health of your soil

A healthy soil is described as a living system that helps to maintain and enhance the natural environment, which in turn makes for more productive crops. That’s a shortened version…

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…

ARABLE

3 ways to measure earthworm numbers

Having a healthy population of earthworms can help growers halt the UK’s serious decline in soil health, with an estimated loss of 2.2m tonnes of topsoil each year. Earthworms’ key…

Insights

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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…

SOILS

Arable Horizons: How science and tech could save our soils

Our soils are in trouble. That has been the clear and much-publicised message from the scientific community in recent years. But despite the gloomy headlines, Wilfred Otten of the Cranfield…

ARABLE

Video: Maintain potato yields and cut cultivation costs

An investigation into the best cultivation strategies for potato production has found that growers could make savings without affecting yields by cultivating shallower. AHDB-sponsored work by Niab CUF at a…

ARABLE

Building a case for no-till crop establishment

Whether at grower meetings, hashtagged on your Twitter feed or even featured on BBC’s Countryfile on a Sunday evening, “no-till” enthusiasts are certainly making a lot of noise. Global grain…