We’re working on a new and improved website. In the meantime you can continue to access our existing site.

Nitrogen rates – what to think about this season

At this time of year, attention turns to upcoming activity on farm. First on the list will be early nitrogen applications, but before they happen it's important to consider what could impact them and any subsequent applications to ensure you make the most of your nitrogen fertiliser.

Continue reading

Field grain analysis can help determine the success of your fertiliser programme

Problems accessing this blog? Click here to go to our main blog feed where you'll be able to see our latest post at the top.

With harvest just beginning, now seems a sensible time to draw breath and assess the season before harvest gets in full swing followed in short order by establishing next year's crops.

And what a season it's been. Yes, there have been weather events to talk about, especially the dry April and for some also the first half of May and most of June, but these pale in comparison to the economic impacts we've seen in the last 12 months.No more so than in my world of fertiliser, where an initial new season price for AN back in June 2021 - at 81p/kg N (£280/t) - was considered by some to be too expensive, only to then rise dramatically during the season to an eye watering £2.68/kg N (£925/t) at the peak.

Continue reading

Nitrogen guidance for milling wheat

Problems accessing this blog?
Click here to go to our main blog feed where you'll be able to see our latest post at the top.

At this time of year, I'm often asked: "How much nitrogen should I apply to my milling wheat crops?" My tongue-in-cheek response to that question is often: "Tell me exactly how much your crop is going to yield and then I'll be able to give you a guide on nitrogen rates." Now, clearly it is impossible to know the exact yield you are going to achieve at this stage so a definitive answer will always be hard but even so, I believe all milling wheat growers should fully understand the impact yield has on the nitrogen requirement for their crops.

Continue reading

Value of nitrogen: the importance of well-informed decisions

The word 'unprecedented' very accurately describes what has happened in the fertiliser world this year but even that doesn't seem enough to convey the exceptional rise in price and shortage of supply. In 25 years, I haven't seen anything like these price levels; to be honest I don't think I expected to see them in my working life and I still have a...

Continue reading

Final nitrogen decisions

Since the rain has started to fall across the UK, I've had several people asking about the final nitrogen applications on a number of crops. Unsurprisingly, there's quite a lot to consider so we've put together a two-part blog series to help you address all of the key information.

In this first blog I've compiled some advice on final nitrogen decisions for the main arable crops, taking into account overall conditions we've seen this season and what they mean for final doses on oilseed rape, winter wheat and spring cereal crops.

Continue reading

Spring blog series: Are your fertiliser programmes still right?

With April quite literally around the corner and early nitrogen doses now applied, it's an opportune time to reflect on what's happened so far this season and factor in decisions for future applications. I believe it's always sensible to constantly question the fertiliser plans and programmes made earlier in the season and it's not to say they are wrong, it's to check they are still right!

Continue reading

P and K blog series: Managing levels after extreme weather events

We've certainly seen Mother Nature go from one extreme to the next in recent months. Given the incredibly dry April and May experienced this spring, it is difficult to comprehend that February was actually the wettest on record. Let us not forget that this also followed the consistently above-average rainfall throughout autumn and winter too.

However, a generally kind March and early April allowed for some substantial spring cropping. While somewhat of a forced change for many, this - coupled with the extremes in weather - has significantly impacted the nutrition requirements for this and potentially next year's crops.

Continue reading

Milling wheat - final decisions

As I write this, glancing out of the window to look at blue skies over dry soil, it's all too easy to forget the extremely wet autumn and winter we all endured. Clearly, this posed a massive challenge for establishing autumn crops and has led to one of the smallest winter wheat areas we've seen for decades. 

It did, though, also cause large amounts of mobile nutrients like nitrogen and sulphur to be leached out of the soil, meaning we started spring growth with very low levels naturally available. Indeed...

Continue reading

Welcome dry weather but implications for liquid fertiliser

The recent dry weather has been incredibly welcome and has finally allowed drills, sprayers and fertiliser spreaders to roll across the country. But, dare I ask, how long will it be before we're looking for some fresh rain?!

There is clearly a massive variation in growth stage and condition of the autumn crops across the country, but the more forward crops have started to get hold of applied nitrogen and actually look quite good .At the other extreme, some of the most backward crops are not that far ahead of the spring cereals that are now going in the ground. As long as reasonable seedbeds can be achieved and drilling doesn't get delayed, the potential for these spring crops should be good. 

Continue reading

OSR - The final nutrition decision

It has been somewhat of a harrowing year for the OSR crop, with wide spread establishment issues followed by flea beetle larval damage leading to a number of crops unfortunately being ripped up.The remaining crops have gone on to endure some late frosts during flowering but, thanks to recent rainfall and warm weather, the good crops are now coming ...

Continue reading

Surprise Easter weather increases risk of losses on liquid fertiliser

The rise in temperatures forecast this weekend beckons the prospect of one of the warmest Easters on record. While many people's thoughts will turn to firing up the barbecue or joining a queue of traffic heading for the nearest beach, arable farmers will earmark the time to get out and on with spring land work. Generally dry conditions have allowed...

Continue reading

Don’t overlook boron in your OSR crop this autumn

Boron is a key nutrient for oilseed rape, with its main functions associated with aiding stem elongation and flowering. While these developments will happen later next spring, it is important to start addressing some of this need now before the crop enters winter.  The last thing we want is OSR coming out of the colder months with a deficiency...

Continue reading

The value of fresh phosphate fertiliser

​For the most part, many of us will admit that when it comes to fertiliser applications we can be guilty of concentrating solely on the application of nitrogen. The most common questions often revolve around the correct nitrogen rates and predicted yield responses but, in all honesty, it isn't all we should be thinking about. As an industry, when f...

Continue reading

OSR: The importance of early nutrition

As we progress through harvest and get into August, one of the next jobs for many will be thinking about drilling oilseed rape. Establishing OSR can be a real challenge and that concern will likely be even greater following the remarkably prolonged hot and dry weather spell we've been experiencing across the UK. Good, rapid establishment is the key...

Continue reading

Foliar nitrogen options for milling wheat – which product works best?

 A recent blog from SOYL looked at how variable rate applications of foliar nitrogen could help to maximise protein levels in milling wheat. While this is an advantageous method to help meet the target, it's also worthwhile considering the type of foliar nitrogen being used and which is best suited to the job. This year it is vital for those a...

Continue reading

The final nutrition decision in oilseed rape – maximise its potential

Recent dry and warm weather has encouraged oilseed rape crops into full flower and the countryside is dappled with bright, yellow fields. It is easy at this stage to forget about the preceding weather and the impact it has had on managing these crops this year. The relatively warm autumn and early winter meant that soil nitrogen levels were potenti...

Continue reading

N-protect: Safeguard your liquid fertiliser from losses

After an extremely cold and wet period across March and early April, it's good to finally see some warm and dry weather. In fact, we had the warmest April day for nearly 70 years, so the change in forecast has been quite remarkable to say the least. This has been great for crop growth and has allowed significant amounts of spring crops to be drille...

Continue reading

Delayed applications for arable crops – what next?

While a distant memory, the warm, dry weather of October and November allowed most winter crops to be drilled in fairly good conditions and establish well. It also encouraged mineralisation, producing good levels of nitrogen to aid early growth. In fact, in the run up to Christmas it very much looked like soil nitrogen levels would be higher than n...

Continue reading

So how have your crops yielded this year?

There have been some fantastic crop yields reported this year. Early harvested sugar beet crops are yielding particularly well, with 100t/ha already talked about and plenty of growth to come from crops still in the ground. Forage maize crops are also performing very well, as did the hybrid rye crops foraged earlier this year. The cereal harvest was...

Continue reading

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Cookie Policy.