Review your application plans for grassland

Standing-Grass-Fieldcropped
​I doubt it comes as much of a surprise that, as with our arable crops , the severe weather of late has significantly delayed nitrogen applications to grassland too. While we did have a bit of a break from the constant rainfall, unfortunately the sun didn't get chance to offer much solace before the heavens opened again.  While the weather is ...
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Delayed applications for arable crops – what next?

FRONTIER-0047
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...
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Does water quality really influence pesticide performance?

spraying
While everyone understands the chemical disposition of water as H 2 O, it actually contains an abundance of ions such as sodium, potassium, chloride, sulphate, calcium, iron, magnesium and carbonates. Those which are 'positively charged' are identified as cations and those which are 'negative' are known as anions. These ions are present in the wate...
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Moving to liquid potato seed treatment

Frontier-Ingham-3.8.15-0772
​ The Frontier Potato Seedcare team and I had a busy few days at Potato 2017 last month, meeting lots of growers and advisors. While we enjoyed a great range of interesting discussions with those who attended, there was one topic which proved particularly popular – the move to liquid seed treatment. Attendees were keen to discuss the possibility of...
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Has tram lining weed seed brought something new to the party when it comes to black-grass management?

Chaff-Deck---Fig-_20180111-150833_1
Five months on since harvest feels like a good time to review what, if anything, tram lining has added to the armoury when it comes to the management of black-grass.By way of a re-cap, Frontier Agriculture, in collaboration with EW Davies farms Ltd, Rothamsted, AHDB and Primary Sales from Western Australia, installed a 'chaff deck' onto farmer Jere...
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Frontier #3DThinking trials progress

#3DThinking Trials
All of our 3DThinking sites established well last autumn. As we move further into winter we take a look at some of the headline trials and their performance to date. While the cropping range varies across sites, all are conducting winter wheat trials focused on variety, nutrition, seed treatment and crop protection.   1 Muir of Ord  ...
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Ease the record-keeping burden with an online crop records system

The annual task of compiling the previous 12 months worth of spray applications certainly doesn't evoke much excitement when on the to-do list. Even so, in order to satisfy the relevant assurance obligations such as Red Tractor, it is an essential task often requiring considerable amounts of both time and attention to detail. The recording of spray...
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First look at a 'new-look' RL list

This week saw the annual publication of the AHDB Recommended List . This year sees a new look to the list with a move back to a one-page wheat round up. This is likely to be welcomed by many of us as it's easier to view, especially if this carries through to the printed version. Welcome new varieties Although wheat varieties are down to one page th...
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Is it too early to start or too late to begin?

The quandary over when drilling winter wheat in the winter should be replaced by spring wheat in the spring, or when spring wheat should be drilled in the winter continues to surface at this time of year. The answer may not revolve around the cultivar but more around the reasons for the discussion. If we knew that black-grass was no longer going to...
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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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Enhanced Metaldehyde Stewardship and Red Tractor

Since October 2017, adherence to the Enhanced Metaldehyde Stewardship has become a requirement of the Red Tractor scheme. The newly updated Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet and Fresh Produce standards will now be part of future crop audits and may have left you with several questions.   What does this mean for me? It will impact most growers an...
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Have you got worms?

With winter fast approaching, it's time to reach into the back of your truck, grab your spade and start digging to look for those all-important earthworms. The Lumbricus terrestris (as the common earthworm is scientifically known) comes in all different shapes and sizes and although small, offers significant benefits to agriculture simply due to it...
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Potato sprout suppression: CIPC fogging in 2017 and future development

Given recent regulatory changes how can potato store managers adapt working practices to ensure CIPC fogging remains an effective tool even at new lower dosage levels? The CIPC Stewardship Group has widely advertised summer 2017 changes to CIPC potato sprout suppressant labels that, amongst other requirements, brought in reduced individual and maxi...
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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...
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Controlling black-grass with a cultural method - is that possible?

Controlling black-grass in a rotation is a regular topic of conversation for many farmers – looking at how to best maintain, control and, more importantly, get on top of black-grass. After decades of research across the industry and experts recommending key steps on how to master the spread of this prolific weed, the simple answer is that sadly the...
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Getting a grip on brome this season

The wet weather we've endured this summer has been depressing but it does have some advantages related to controlling troublesome brome grassweeds. Brome plants have been able to establish well in moist seed beds in the last few weeks allowing us to take a stale seed bed approach to controlling them. Meanwhile, cereal crop drilling has been delayed...
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Grey partridges need you

partridge
After a long and protracted harvest for many we are now seeing fields cleared leaving land and farm managers who have an interest in farmland wildlife with a hugely rewarding and valuable task to undertake... counting grey partridges! The grey partridge is a key farmland bird indicator species and helps to show that your hard work in terms of habit...
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Phoma - timing and plant size is everything

At this time of year young rape crops can be at risk of phoma damage and small plants with low resistance scores are most at risk. Catching the disease early is the most important aspect of control and what a difference a year makes! Cast your mind back 12 months and OSR crops could largely be split into two categories, particularly in southern and...
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No-spray buffer zones - not all herbicides are created equal

No-spray buffer zones have become more common on Plant Protection Product (PPP) labels as greater environmental standards are applied by the regulators. No-spray buffers make products more difficult to use, but are good in that otherwise the affected products would not be available in the UK. Products containing clomazone, a herbicide used by many ...
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From 'must have' iPhones... to 'must have' wheats

Listening to the news this week about the launch of the iPhone 10 (or iPhone X as it's going to be known) and the eye watering price at which this new device has been listed, made me think about the annual new wheat variety launch we see in the UK. I have no doubt that iPhone X will already have a sell out order book as people rush to have the late...
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