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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Soil health key to premium crop grower's sustainability goals

Growing premium crops for local markets is helping Fife farmer Alan Steven optimise margins at Hillhead Farm, Kingsbarns, St Andrews. “Our location means haulage is a significant factor,” says Mr…


How to grow potatoes using minimal tillage

Growing potatoes with excellent taste characteristics was the starting point for Jeroen Klompe’s eight-year journey to improve his soil, and his management of it within a potato rotation. Farming 368ha…


How two growers are using regenerative ag to protect water

Pressure to reverse excessive nitrate leaching into both the Wessex Water borehole and wider Poole Harbour catchments has led Dorset farmer John Hawkins to radically reshape his farm in the…


How a biotic farmer deals with insect pests and weeds

Growing top-quality seed potatoes is a challenge no matter how you farm. But not many would consider growing them without any insecticide, herbicide, fungicide or synthetic fertiliser – yet that’s…


Video: How a US potato grower is slashing pesticide use

Growing potatoes on a commercial scale with virtually zero synthetic inputs would seem impossible, but this is exactly what one US farmers has achieved using what he calls “biotic farming”,…


Why pigs are part of Yorkshire Monitor Farm's plans

The desire to grow and improve the family arable business while preparing it for an uncertain future prompted Yorkshire farmer Gary Shipley to take on the Monitor Farm role in…

Practical advice

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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…


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.…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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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,…


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 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…


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…


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…