Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

Target applications to maximise protein %

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In what has been a challenging spring for many farmers across the UK, winter wheat crops have come out of it looking well and the potential in many areas is good. The challenge now is to ensure that you help your crops reach the best condition they possibly can over the coming months. AHDB figures tell us that over the last twelve years only 27% of...
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Weed mapping

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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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The life of a precision applications advisor

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The weather has improved lately and workload for growers and advisors has increased. I am a relatively new member of the crop applications team at SOYL precision and I thought I'd share some insight into our role and how we support farmers. The crop applications team - what we do to support farmers: We create fertiliser recommendations for over one...
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Over-winter nitrogen losses and spring N levels

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SOYL have undertaken a nitrogen sampling project at a number of sites across the UK. These sites had a range of differing soil types, allowing us to assess over-winter changes in soil nitrogen levels. A comparison of nitrogen levels in March, compared with those measured in November, has shown a significant over-winter loss, averaging 50kg/ha N or ...
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Variable rate nitrogen benefits

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There can be confusion around the benefits of variable rate nitrogen. In fact, I was talking to a consultant just this week who is new to precision farming and he was discussing the perceived cost savings from variable rate nitrogen. I gave him a clear message and one that I think is worth sharing here. "Don't expect to save money through using les...
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Variable rate nitrogen - A different perspective

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At our recent workshops, I addressed variable rate nitrogen and some of the often 'overlooked' added benefits associated with it.  We have always talked about yield being the key benefit of variable rate nitrogen, with typical responses being somewhere between 3 –8%. In a survey I carried out in June last year, I spoke to over 100 growers and ...
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Technological innovations

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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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Variable rate plant growth regulators (PGRs)

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SOYL have been conducting trials using variable rate plant growth regulators (PGRs) on both winter oilseed rape and winter wheat. The premise for variable applications on both crops is the same – that there will be a yield benefit from applying a full rate of PGR on crops that are at risk from lodging because of over-large canopies. However, if the...
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Precision farming and grassland

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Over the past few seasons, SOYL has been developing precision farming services for the grassland industry. Grass is the UK's largest crop and is grown in every county. A particular area that became a focus was that of pasture management and we discussed this during our winter workshops. A grassland and livestock famer needs to make constant decisio...
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Precision soil management

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Over the past decade the national average wheat yield has remained relatively static at around 8.5 t/ha. However, set this against the biophysical potential of wheat at 19t/ha and the UK's highest recorded wheat yield of 16.52 t/ha back in 2015, and there is clearly a realistic opportunity to improve yields on farm.  But, how can this be achie...
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Magnesium - the forgotten nutrient?

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At our winter workshops, we discussed the importance of magnesium. It is essential for plant development and occurs naturally in soils across the UK. The amount of magnesium found is predominately dictated by the local geology and, to a lesser degree, soil texture. Fields located over dolomitic limestone will have much higher indices of magnes...
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SOYL Winter Workshop Roundup

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Just a couple of weeks ago, we drew our Winter Workshop series to a close in Hampshire. Our time on the road took us to a wide range of locations across the UK, including up to Dingwall in Northern Scotland, Stowmarket in the East, Worcester in the West and down to Winchester in the South. In fact, the breadth of our travels can be summarised as th...
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What is so special about iSOYL?

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We get a huge amount of interest in our iPad app, iSOYL. It is used by over 1,000 customers around the world who find it to be a simple and effective way to vary the rates of seed, fertiliser or any other input. A client once asked me, "How does an app do so much!?" Of course, I explained how iSOYL works, but the conversation got me thinking that m...
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Compatible iPads for iSOYL

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It is always the first question we get asked when it comes to customer iPads – is mine compatible when it comes to variable rate? It's easy to assume that "an iPad is an iPad, so it will just work" but unfortunately this is not always the case. Some iPads only have wifi capabilities as opposed to 4G data, while others may not have a GPS module insi...
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What is the difference between multispectral & hyperspectral imagery?

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The remote sensing of vegetation is an important tool in the SOYL toolbox, enabling farmers to quickly identify variations in crop biomass and monitor crop health. Remote sensing works because growing crops reflect light in specific wavelengths (especially near infrared) according to their growth stage and state of health. Sensors receiving these m...
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SOYL to conduct UK's largest variable rate nitrogen trial

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Please click here to visit the SOYL website For those of you who have visited one of our Winter Workshops you will have heard about our launch of the largest ever variable rate nitrogen trial . Here at SOYL we have recognised that an area of huge potential in precision farming is the ability to carry out on-farm trials. While it not only aids ongoi...
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2017 - a SOYL year in review

As 2017 draws to an end we can reflect on another exciting year working at the heart of precision crop production. Our mission to help our customers Make Every Hectare Count continued in 2017 and we've enjoyed a wide range of developments and achievements, summarised in this end of year blog. January is always a busy start to the year with the AICC...
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Working in the SOYL Applications Team

Over the last two years the Applications Team has expanded from a team of four to a team of eight, as we continue to create recommendations and variable rate files for more hectares both here and internationally. Aside from a few team members that work remotely, we are predominantly based at our Newbury headquarters in Berkshire. Together, we are r...
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Get a precise focus on your EFAs

Changes are ahead for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs). However, by taking a more precise approach to tailor the farm areas allocated to EFAs and choosing longer term crop options, they still represent a fantastic opportunity to improve biodiversity and the farm's bottom line. EFAs have hit the headlines due to the imminent removal of the use of Plant...
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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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