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Use your grain sampling data to plan the next cropping year

To be frank, a sample bag of grain doesn't really tend to excite many of us. Why would it? It's just a sample, it's minute in comparison to the hard graft that's come before it. But then – if we really think about it – doesn't that make it quite a significant thing?

That bag of grain represents at least a year of hard work; significant investments, the challenges you've overcome and the opportunities you've taken. When you consider the efforts that have gone into creating that bag of grain you realise that, if we are to be completely honest, it all comes down to that bag. The fact is that it isn't just grain in there. It's information, data, learnings, it's proof of things that worked well and sometimes things that didn't.

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How did you start 2020?

At this point of the year, I find that New Year's resolutions tend to have gone one of three ways. They are either still going strong (well done if that's you), have merely been forgotten about, or have fallen at the wayside because although you tried, one small blip meant you had to shelve it for next year so you can try again.

While I'm often in the group who start with the best of intentions but don't quite see them through, there is one 'resolution' that I simply haven't been able to ignore: adapting to change.

This year, food production is under pressure from many different angles and regardless of your view on the validity of change, we can be certain that UK agriculture will need to adjust in order to survive and thrive

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Using MyAccount - what if you're not a 'techie'?

Digital innovation, new technology and the million reasons why I have been doing everything wrong for the last 30 years seem to be everywhere at the moment. The press is full of stories about technology that promises me robots and self-driving tractors, as well as predictions of when my crops will next be under attack by everything from septoria to...

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What is MyFarm?

​While some of our customers are already familiar with our farm management platform, MyFarm, a recent upgrade has led to some exciting developments to its applications and overall functionality. Free to all Frontier customers, the latest version has been designed as a result of farmer-feedback. The platform now provides a one-stop shop to manage ev...

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High res imagery; allowing innovation and intervention

Remote sensing in agriculture is nothing new. However, with drones gaining more publicity over the last few years, some would argue it has felt somewhat revolutionary all over again. Rather than new sensors, what actually came along were new platforms and all too often it is only these that get the attention. We're all made aware when the latest se...

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Timeliness is next to Godliness

It isn't news to emphasise that one of our key current challenges is the well publicised yield plateau. Whenever the next thumping crop yield is announced we all want to know how it was grown and then, when we do know, we sit back and assume we could never achieve it. Often the soil type was better than ours or the nitrogen rate was extraordinarily...

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Monitoring grain markets 24/7 made possible with new technology

​Most of the farmers I know keep a watchful eye on commodity prices and use a variety of methods to do so. The method chosen is down to personal choice; it could be speaking to a farm trader, scrolling through Twitter or checking online via the farming press. Making that proactive choice to check; 'Has the grain market gone up, down or even remaine...

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Crop recording and time management

I've been visiting growers on their farms for nearly 25 years and I've noticed that there are many familiar consistencies between businesses and yet at the same time every farm is different. One of the common themes is how busy farmers are.However, there is no correlation between how busy farmers are and the size of the farm, the amount of diversif...

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Planning field scouting before you get to the field

Oh, to be more organised! Much of what we see around the farm is reactive, driving past a field or walking across it and recording what you see. This is how crop development has been managed and monitored for a very long time. However, there is a different way and it is based upon the information that you have already recorded across the farm. Data...

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Weed mapping

Weed mapping has been around, in various guises, for some time. For example, it might be in real-time by identifying weeds in the field and directing a spray nozzle during application. Or it could be based upon creating maps of weed infestations ahead of application. Application technology will get more accurate and, if we allow our minds to wander...

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Technological innovations

Well, the winter workshop campaign has finished for another year and was hugely successful – it is always a pleasure to tour the country seeing our customers. At the workshops, I talked about what we have been developing at SOYL over the last year, as well as how and why farmers should be using these innovations within their businesses. Importance ...

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Why should I be digitally recording on-farm data?

Over the coming winter months I will be talking to hundreds of UK farmers about SOYL's Precision Farming application, MySOYL, and other associated in-field apps. Many will likely wonder what value there is in recording what they see on farm in an app and have this data synced to a central place. Our field-walking app, iSOYLscout, does exactly this ...

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Data analysis comes alive at this year's workshops

A few clients have asked me what to expect at this year's SOYL winter workshops. You can find a general overview in this article but as the team finalise their slide decks, I'm starting to see a very clear theme: Data. There's been a lot of talk about data in recent years and we're now starting to see very positive learnings by analysing complex pr...

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Managing establishment

The establishment of crops is measured by the percentage of seeds that result in a viable crop. For example, what would be considered the 'good' part of a field might establish at 90%, whereas a 'poor' part may only establish at 50%.SOYL customers have access to several tools designed to aid with managing crop establishment, as well as lots of info...

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Innovation... It's never done

It's been a busy time for SOYL's development team. These are the people who are the nucleus from which all of our precision innovations, used on farms up and down the country, are hatched. There's certainly no shortage of ideas from the team or interest and demand for their work right now. Just last week we've hadFarmers Weekly reporting on our Cus...

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Accessing nutrient maps in MySOYL

You don't know what you don't know! It's easy for us to assume that, since we provide support, training and tutorials, our customers understand how to use the tools we build, but while we use these tools every day, our customers often only use them seasonally.How many of us have thought "I know I did it last time but I can't remember how!"? So this...

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Why should I use yield maps?

Between the showers, combines are rolling across the country with the purpose of gathering the result of a year's work. At the same time, many are gathering important information in the form of yield maps, but are you using your data to its full potential?The more years of yield data you have, the more valuable that data is, but it's never too late...

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Summer training events

In response to feedback from customers and to complement our popular annual Winter Workshop campaign, SOYL is offering summer training events for the first time this year.Distinctly different to the winter events, the summer training is a programme of practical, hands-on sessions with a much smaller group of growers, with 15-20 typically attending ...

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