Know How / Pulses

In a tough pulses market, our page aims to help grow a more profitable crop in the face of rising inputs and volatile markets.

This is your starting point for addressing challenges such as disease and weed control, integrating different cultivation techniques, exploring precision farming and protecting the environment.

Key areas of focus:

  • Getting establishment right
  • Planning fungicide strategy
  • Keeping on top of weeds
  • Choosing the right varieties for the right market
  • Meeting market specifications

Case studies

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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…

BLACKGRASS

How Oxfordshire farmer cleaned up a bad blackgrass problem

Piers Cowling manages 1,170ha of variable soils in a renowned blackgrass hot spot, and six years ago he realised that radical changes were necessary if he was to continue growing…

PULSES

How to hit quality specs with marrowfat peas

Growing a profitable crop of marrowfat peas requires complete attention to detail, from seed-bed formation to harvest, as getting it wrong can lead to disappointing yields and loss of valuable…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Why wheat is £10/t cheaper to produce with no-till approach

No-till farmers produce wheat for £10/t less than their conventional counterparts, according to a benchmarking exercise of 12 farms in East Anglia. Accountancy expert Gary Markham says that the combination…

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…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Why strip-till is key to one farmer's cultivations approach

Strip tillage offers farmers the best of both worlds – a tilled strip offering a good tilth moist, friable, well-draining seed-bed along with some of the benefits of zero tillage. Louise…

Practical advice

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COVER CROPS

How a Dorset farmer grows cost-effective cover crops

Dorset grower John Martin, together with Kings Seeds, has designed his own cover crop mix, which provides the maximum benefit to his calcareous soils while also being cost-effective. He was…

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…

PULSES

How to hit quality specs with marrowfat peas

Growing a profitable crop of marrowfat peas requires complete attention to detail, from seed-bed formation to harvest, as getting it wrong can lead to disappointing yields and loss of valuable…

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…

ESTABLISHMENT

Tips to improve pulse performance in a difficult season

Even the best bean grower would have struggled to achieve high yields last season in the worst combination of conditions possible for the crop, which saw yields 23.4% below the…

PULSES

Why prospects are looking up for peas and beans in 2019

Pulse growers are set to benefit from four useful additions to the Recommended List – two of which are spring beans that increase the performance of pigs and poultry when…

Insights

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NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Slow sulphur could help growers save on fertiliser bills

A slow-release sulphur fertiliser will be available this autumn which may help growers to save money by cutting back on applications, with Britain’s number one blender being one of the…

ARABLE

7 essential arable farming apps

Whether it's looking up the nitrogen requirements for wheat on chalk or helping with the safe use of drones, there is a constant pipeline of smartphone apps promising to make…

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…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Why phosphate fertiliser use on crops may have to change

Current best-practice strategies for phosphate fertiliser use in arable crops are based on feeding the soil to feed the crop, rather than the crop. As a result, the guidance in…

CROP SELECTION

The best spring cropping options for your farm

Arable growers are set to switch further into spring cropping to tackle blackgrass, cut input costs and make the most of niche markets, and spring barley is often seen as…

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.…

Video

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ARABLE

Video: Ultimate guide to good slug pellet application

With the fate of metaldehyde in their hands, growers have one final winter to make sure the slug killer doesn’t contaminate watercourses. As a timely reminder, Oli Hill looks at best application…

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…

COVER CROPS

Video: No-till wins over grower to direct-drilling

New to no-till grower Richard Boldan is driving forward his plans to convert to a reduced cultivation system for a more sustainable future, with ambitions to grow more spring crops and establish…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Video: How 3 farmers spruced up their spray stores

Having the right spray store set-up will help growers stay on the right side of the law, keep valuable spray stocks safe from criminals and save spray operators a significant…