Know How / Wheat / Establishment

Bringing establishment costs down, without affecting yields, is one of the main priorities on arable farms today. Cutting costs by reducing the number of passes, but without cutting corners, is the focus for many. See the most recent guidance on cost-effective establishment systems and how they are performing in a range of soil types.

Case studies

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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…

SOILS

Grower slashes inputs with soils focus and variety blends

An interest in soil health was the starting point for major changes made to Angus Gowthorpe’s mixed farming system in Yorkshire, the results of which have slashed establishment time and…

DRILLING

Grower makes direct drilling work on the west coast

Being prepared to take a step backwards has allowed Merseyside grower Olly Harrison to make the transition to no-till despite farming on the west coast. Mr Harrison, who farms on…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How a milling wheat grower hit 12.2t/ha at 13.1% protein

An in-depth technical knowledge and a familiarity with fertiliser and pesticide products gained from Alex Wilcox's parallel career as an agronomist helped him deliver the award-winning crop of milling wheat in…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Farm manager's drought action plan results in 15% yield lift

Simon Eddell has spent the past seven years looking to improve his light Suffolk soils to cope with summer droughts, and the result is healthier crops and wheat yields up…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Youngest-ever Duchy tenant switches to precision farming

Ally Hunter Blair is a young man in a hurry. The youngest-ever tenant of a Duchy of Cornwall farm is trying out new crops, embracing precision farming and working on…

Practical advice

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PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

The best way to manage stubbles after harvest

Unless you are one of a growing number of no-tillers or you plough every year, it is difficult to be prescriptive when it comes to post-harvest cultivation strategy. There is…

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…

DRILLING

How precision farming can earn an extra £99/ha

A trial carried out across three farms in the Midlands shows that precision farming can pay – even fields that farmers believe to be fairly even are seeing yield benefits.…

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…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Tips on selecting the right cultivator for your soils

Farmers often put a huge amount of effort into selecting the right drill to get cereal crops off to the best start in the autumn, but picking the wrong cultivator…

DRILLING

Which wheat varieties to consider for late drilling

Cereal growers looking for wheat varieties most suited to later drilling dates should opt for those that are more vigorous, with good tillering ability and a rapid speed of development.…

Insights

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DRILLING

Video: High-pressure water tech aids direct drilling success

Replacing drill coulters with a high-pressure jet to open up the soil will not only improve germination, its inventors believe it can aid rooting by cracking compaction and aerating soils.…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Why no-till is profitable despite having a yield penalty

As machinery costs are the main driver of arable profit, no-till farms can afford to produce 1t/ha less wheat than their more conventional counterparts. Speaking at the Groundswell event in June, accountant…

ESTABLISHMENT

On-farm establishment trial shows best system in a dry year

Dry conditions for the second year in a row have highlighted the importance of establishment method. Systems which allowed crops to get their roots down in search of moisture were…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Plough, min-till and no-till compared: year one

A major trial has been set up to find the most profitable and sustainable way to grow arable crops by comparing three different establishment systems over five years. Establishment systems…

ESTABLISHMENT

Smart drill add-on offers real-time variable applications

A clever gadget that provides planter operators with real-time soil data for on-the-fly variable-rate seed and fertiliser applications could soon feature on UK farms after a recent Agco acquisition. Illinois-based…

ARABLE

Data reveals how raising crop yields can offset subsidy loss

Any reductions in support payments arising from Brexit can be covered on most UK arable farms by improved crop performance, results from ProCam’s 4Cast service suggest. The higher wheat yields…

ARABLE

Why spring wheat can be more profitable than spring barley

Spring wheat can earn growers more money than spring barley with a potential gross margin of over £800/ha and offer them a competitive crop to counter troublesome grassweeds. According to…

ARABLE

Low BYDV risk this season sends cheer to embattled growers

A lower barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) risk this season could cut cereal establishment costs by eliminating the need for a seed dressing. This could be the silver lining for…

WHEAT

Min-till and flexible drilling leads to bigger wheat yields

Minimum tillage and flexible drilling dates can increase winter wheat yields and profitability when compared with ploughing and rigid sowing times. Top wheat growers with the highest gross margins tended…

ARABLE

Growers highlight soil and cost advantages of using no-till

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to putting no-tillage cultivation techniques into practice, but there is a basic recipe that everyone can follow. Minimal soil disturbance, diverse rotations and…

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…

Zero metaldehyde zones give mixed results

Mixed results have been reported by the water companies involved in the four zero metaldehyde pilot projects, resulting in some changes to the pilot schemes in the coming season. The…