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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PEST MANAGEMENT

How a grower slashed insecticide use by splitting fields

A Cambridgeshire grower is reaping the rewards of encouraging beneficial insects, having eliminated the need to use any slug pellets or insecticides in his cropping system for more than a…

WHEAT

Why a grower is taking radical step of leaving wheat area fallow

Sussex grower Mark Chandler will leave his entire winter wheat area fallow on his contracted land this year to preserve the rotation. Switching to spring barley to salvage a crop…

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…

Practical advice

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COVER CROPS

5 top grower mistakes with cover crops and how to avoid them

Grow cover crops effectively and they can increase soil organic matter, cycle nutrients, protect soils from erosion and increase profitability. Get it wrong and you may see poorer establishment from…

DRILLING

The big question: Drill wheat early or late this autumn?

The very wet winter of 2019 left many wheat growers struggling to get crops in the ground, particularly those who opted for delayed drilling for blackgrass control. Based on that…

VARIETY SELECTION

4 wheat varieties with wide drilling windows to consider

The value of wheat varieties with wider drilling windows that allow for later sowing has proved incredibly useful after the wet winter of 2019, offering growers greater flexibility on when…

LAND PREPARATION

Advice on draining and restructuring waterlogged soils

The best way of draining waterlogged soils and restructuring compacted areas is to plant a crop as soon as it is feasible, and allow them to transpire the water out.…

DRILLING

How to get undrilled fields back on track after wet winter

Time has nearly run out for drilling winter wheat crops, leaving farmers to decide which spring crop to grow or even whether to fallow areas that remain undrilled after one…

BLACKGRASS

How to keep on top of spring-germinating blackgrass

Farmers with a significant blackgrass problem should stick with spring barley this season, as the crop – when managed correctly – offers the best way to keep on top of…

Insights

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SOILS

Is regenerative agriculture the future of arable farming?

A growing number of farmers are overhauling their systems and are now farming in a way that has little impact on soil health, includes greater diversity and leads to more…

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…