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Navigate grain market volatility with price and trading tools in MyFarm

The current volatility of global markets and commodity prices is well documented; in recent weeks, there have been price swings that have never been experienced before. While it makes for some interesting market behaviours, knowing when to react in terms of buying and selling can be a challenge, particularly when prices are changing in a matter of minutes.

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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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Opportunities to make soil sampling pay

With a bullish global fertiliser market pushing prices up as we approach the new season, the importance of soil sampling to help optimise inputs is arguably greater than ever before. When you combine this with the recent Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) release stating growers can be financially rewarded for monitoring and improving soil health, it's not surprising to learn that sampling is becoming a greater priority.

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Understand your farm's profitability with margin maps

With an increased focus on farm finances, I am finding that there is a greater drive from our customers to combine some of the data routinely collected through precision farming to get a better insight into farm profitability.

Our margin map tool uses yield data and simple costs to produce financial performance maps that not only provide a field average, but also show the spatial variation in profitability. By including yield data and costs for multiple years, you can easily analyse financial performance across your whole rotation instead of just year by year.

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Are you making the most of biomass imagery?

Unlike some of the advances in precision farming, biomass imagery doesn't require specialist or expensive equipment. In fact all that's really needed is a computer and a desire to discover some information that could be of value to your farm business.

Surprisingly, however, there are a number of farmers who are not fully utilising biomass imagery and its benefits – but why the reluctance?

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What value can MySOYL bring to your farm business?

In my role as MySOYL Business Lead, I regularly talk to customers who are looking to find new technology to make their farms more efficient and profitable. In these conversations, one of the most common questions I get asked is "What is MySOYL and how can it help me?" For those of you wondering the same, I thought I'd use this blog to answer this q...

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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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Creating your own seed rate trials using MySOYL

 Choosing the seed rate is a crucial decision that every grower has to make before drilling, but how can you ensure you're using the optimum rate for your field? As well as the usual calculation, SOYL's MySOYL application – available as part of Frontier's MyFarm farm management platform - can help you to conduct specific trials to gain a bette...

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Lime application plans in under a minute

Whilst the combines have been rolling, I have been speaking to an increasing number of customers and advisers who are looking to prepare for 2020 harvest crops. A common topic often covered is liming policy and the challenges associated with planning and prioritising applications. We have previously posted about the benefits of correcting soil pH a...

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Get a better view of your farm

Using satellites to get a different perspective of your farm really can open up a wealth of opportunities. Of course, we all know that satellite imagery isn't a new thing – people have been using it to take images of crops since 1995. However, the accuracy, resolution, frequency and our overall understanding of the technology has drastically improv...

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Removing straw: calculating the cost of replacing lost nutrients

Last harvest, the prolonged hot weather greatly affected grass growth across the UK and caused a shortage of silage for many livestock farmers. To help meet demand, the majority of growers were baling their straw after harvest but, as explained in my blog at the time, this led to many questions about the impact on nutrient off take.  This year...

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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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