Cutting your fuel costs with variable rate

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I'm sure farmers across the UK breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday, as it was confirmed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the tax break on red diesel would remain in place for the agricultural industry.

Over the past week, farmers have been steeling themselves for a potential 50% rise in fuel costs following reports that the tax relief was going to be scrapped altogether as part of the 2020 Budget. While the news is a positive outcome for the industry the Chancellor has, however, announced that other sectors will be stripped of the tax exemption in two years' time. 

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'Precision conservation'

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'Precision conservation' is a relatively new phrase within our collective businesses and, as such, it is right to ask the question: What does it actually refer to?

For most, 'precision' and 'conservation' are two words not immediately associated with one another. In an agricultural context, 'conservation' can have us thinking wistfully of tussocky field corners and snaking wildflower margins. Of course, when you really think about it, the location of these features is never by accident. Some planning is always involved and that's when the link between the two words becomes clearer.

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If you only attend one event this winter...

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Over the last 12 years, more than 10,000 customers have attended our annual series of winter events. While we've always covered the latest innovations in precision farming, this year I'm thrilled to say that we'll be sharing some of our most varied and forward-thinking content to date.

From November through to February, we're travelling the breadth of the UK to talk all things digital crop production as part of a series of half-day events. As with previous years, we'll be sharing the latest in precision technology including our research, industry developments and the latest updates to our own tools and applications. However, in a first we'll also be sharing the floor with colleagues from Frontier Agriculture and Kings Crops

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What value can MySOYL bring to your farm business?

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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...
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Next time you log into MySOYL...

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I was recently speaking to a SOYL customer on the phone as he logged back into MySOYL for the first time in a few months. As I talked him through the steps, he hesitated when he got to the main dashboard after logging in. "What do all these other buttons do?" he queried. ​ He was referring to some of the other applications available alongside MySOY...
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Creating your own seed rate trials using MySOYL

Create your own seed rate
  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 bett...
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Lime application plans in under a minute

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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

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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

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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 yea...
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Meet the team at various events this year

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In my role, I often get asked which events we'll be attending and where customers can catch up with us over the coming months. Our local SOYL colleagues regularly attend and host events up and down the country, sharing expertise and helping customers to make the most of every hectare. Events are a key element of our agricultural calendar and someth...
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Open Farm Sunday – five developments that wowed the public

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Yesterday, scores of farms around the UK opened their doors for Open Farm Sunday , an annual event organised by LEAF (Linking the Environment and Food) and sponsored by our parent company Frontier Agriculture since 2008. The SOYL team across the UK supported a number of Open Farm Sunday events which our farmer customers were hosting. What thou...
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How can precision help guide nitrogen applications on milling wheat?

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Many people might assume that yield is the best indicator of whether they have got their nitrogen applications right. However, a better indicator is the protein level in the grain. Grain protein Grain protein with optimum nitrogen for yield in feed varieties is consistently about 11% (1.9%N). Bread making varieties optimise for yield at around 12% ...
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Variable rate drilling payback

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When it comes to drilling your next crop, do you consider the evenness of establishment in previous years and the consistency of your return on investment for each field? The inherent variability in soil type in most fields makes variable rate seed drilling a sensible option and the potential for strong payback via yield gain means that adopting th...
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The Variable Rate Seed myth

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We introduced variable rate seed over 15 years ago and the benefits, including that of a yield increase of 4.2% over flat rate drilling, are well documented . However, every now and then I come across individuals who think that doing variable rate seed avoids the need for variable rate applications of nitrogen. This is a myth. Where did the myth co...
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Story of a field

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There has been a lot of interest in variable rate nitrogen this season driven by crops that are full of potential, and good market prices. SOYL's variable rate nitrogen service, based on reliable satellite imagery, has proven yield and protein benefits. One way of showing how we achieve these improvements is to show visually how the crop responds t...
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A brilliant event to kick-start the year

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Over the 26 year lifespan of SOYL, we have exhibited at many agricultural shows and events. When you have a mission to 'Make Every Hectare Count', getting out and meeting as many growers around the world as possible is vital. We kicked off 2019 with a trip to Lamma, the UK's largest agricultural and machinery show. For the first time the event was ...
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Getting the most from precision data at MySOYL Live

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Over the summer, we sat down to discuss and plan our series of winter meetings which we carry out across the country each year. Historically, these have been referred to as our 'winter workshops' and have encompassed a range of information about our precision farming services. As a slight change from the norm, this winter has seen the introduction ...
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Satellite imagery – more than just Variable Rate Nitrogen

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The benefits of using satellite imagery go way beyond the yield improvements that have been seen from variable rate nitrogen applications. Some of these advantages will be picked up in more detail by other blogs but to start, I thought it would be useful to share other opportunities for the use of satellite imagery and the added value that can be d...
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What is the best phosphate product?

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The use of phosphate fertilisers has always caused more confusion than other nutrients.Choice of fertiliser to give the best long and short term availability is often a topic we are asked by growers. Different forms of phosphate (such as orthophosphate or dicalcium phosphate) and the complex relationship that phosphate has with calcium, iron and pH...
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SOYL: a year in review

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Happy New Year from the SOYL team; I can't quite believe that 12 months have passed since I last wrote a blog reviewing the year but here we are. Our mission to help growers Make Every Hectare Count stepped up its pace in 2018 – SOYL advised, helped and supported more farmer customers than ever before. A year punctuated by events 2018 started with ...
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