Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

How did you start 2020?

myfarm

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

Continue reading
  765 Hits
  0 Comments
765 Hits
0 Comments

Take extra care with field operations this spring

_SYL0052

The rain we've experienced over the last year has left many areas very wet and soil more vulnerable to damage. A planned and careful approach to spring operations could minimise soil damage and even start remediation in some cases.

Many soils will not have adequately dried out and compaction is accentuated by tyres that are too hard and high axle weight. Every effort must be made to use the lowest appropriate tyre pressures for each field operation and to minimise total axle weights, if necessary by carrying part loads of seed and fertiliser to the field. Only radial tyres should be used, cross ply tyres and particularly the super single tyre, found on heavy goods vehicles with tyre pressures of 70 plus psi, should never be used on arable land.

Continue reading
  1078 Hits
  0 Comments
1078 Hits
0 Comments

Polysulphate fertilisers could give pulse growers a spring boost

Fert-spreading

Sulphur is a key component of successful crop production; as important as nitrogen when it comes to planning nutrient applications. A multi-nutrient sulphate fertiliser range from ICL called Polysulphate is one that we've recently introduced to our range and is something I am talking about to many of the growers I advise.

Two new Polysulphate products, PKpluS and PotashpluS are especially of topical interest to the increasing number of farmers considering spring pulses on the back of dismal autumn weather. 

Continue reading
  1449 Hits
  0 Comments
1449 Hits
0 Comments

Spring crop switch? Seeking information now will increase options

flooded-soils

We've experienced a quite extraordinary start to the cropping year and as I look at news reports showing land under water I can only imagine the extent of the challenges being faced by some farmers. By now, in England, most would have hoped to finish drilling never mind not even started in some cases.

Understandably and economically getting a winter cereal crop is still the goal right up to February, depending on the variety, for those who can. However, for some that ship has already sailed and a new 'Plan B' will be the reality. For many, even those not so dramatically affected, some change of cropped area is underway with a shift towards spring crops inevitable. 

Continue reading
  1280 Hits
  0 Comments
1280 Hits
0 Comments

Do you have a phosphorus problem?

SOYL-Frontier-Agricultural-4267
In the UK, we don't have a domestic supply of artificial phosphorous fertiliser and so are therefore reliant on imported sources of nutrient phosphorus. Part of this means that we often experience some volatility in pricing, usually influenced by fluctuations in currency, available volume, country of origin and – more recently – political developme...
Continue reading
  1197 Hits
  0 Comments
1197 Hits
0 Comments

Self sampling at harvest will help you market grain in the year ahead

grain-sampling
Harvest is the stage of the farming calendar that poses the most risk for arable businesses. From keeping everyone safe on a busy farm to getting your crops into the store in the right condition; attention to detail is key. There's no doubt that the ease in which a grain sampler can turn up on farm during harvest, take a sample from your heap using...
Continue reading
  1324 Hits
  0 Comments
1324 Hits
0 Comments

Give storage the same attention as yield in harvest conversations

wheat-3
With combines already rolling in some areas, conversations across offices, farms, agricultural shows and pubs are ramping up about the yield potential of this year's crop. Harvest conversations between farmers, traders and others always interest me; watching the usual attempts to outdo each other is always an interesting sport. But as someone with ...
Continue reading
  1721 Hits
  0 Comments
1721 Hits
0 Comments

Working more efficiently in the field

recording-observations-covers
I spend a lot of time with farmers and agronomists talking about how they can be more efficient with their time. One of the ways they can achieve this is through capturing observations in the field, using digital tools such as the MyRecs app within MyFarm or the iSOYL Scout app. Recording black-grass and locating the actual affected area using GPS,...
Continue reading
  928 Hits
  0 Comments
928 Hits
0 Comments

Maximizing grassland production

grass
Much of the grass in Herefordshire, where I am based, suffered during the difficult weather conditions of 2018 and consequently producers should focus on optimising nutrition to restore both quality and yield potential to former levels, with K and S being essential in this process. This season NKS fertilisers containing potash and sulphur alongside...
Continue reading
  1101 Hits
  0 Comments
1101 Hits
0 Comments

Nitrogen – can you manage risk and flex your profitability?

fert
New season 2019 It is likely we will see a higher starting value for ammonium nitrate fertiliser in the UK this year. Recent announcements on the continent have indicated a rise of at least £20 - £25/tonne is likely. In addition, the granular urea market remains very firm and the pound has weakened; both of which lead industry commentators to predi...
Continue reading
  1153 Hits
  0 Comments
1153 Hits
0 Comments

OSR - The final nutrition decision

osr3
It has been somewhat of a harrowing year for the OSR crop, with wide spread establishment issues followed by flea beetle larval damage leading to a number of crops unfortunately being ripped up.The remaining crops have gone on to endure some late frosts during flowering but, thanks to recent rainfall and warm weather, the good crops are now coming ...
Continue reading
  1592 Hits
  0 Comments
1592 Hits
0 Comments

Surprise Easter weather increases risk of losses on liquid fertiliser

N-Protect-cover
The rise in temperatures forecast this weekend beckons the prospect of one of the warmest Easters on record. While many people's thoughts will turn to firing up the barbecue or joining a queue of traffic heading for the nearest beach, arable farmers will earmark the time to get out and on with spring land work. Generally dry conditions have allowed...
Continue reading
  1432 Hits
  0 Comments
1432 Hits
0 Comments

Managing lodging risk in cereals this spring

lodging1
Lodging is described by Berry, 1998 as "The permanent displacement of plant stems from the vertical" which "occurs on average once every four years in UK wheat crops, when it reduces the yield and bread-making quality of grain." Fischer and Stapper, 1987 also report that "Lodging can reduce yields from 7 – 35%, with the greatest yield reductions oc...
Continue reading
  1170 Hits
  0 Comments
1170 Hits
0 Comments

Variable crops will require a considered PGR approach this season

Frontier-Ingham-Sprayers-and-crops-may-2015-0271
​ Yet again a season has seemingly come at us with a fresh set of challenges. Personally, I don't think I've ever seen a 'normal' year and averages cover a lot of variability. However, we do have a challenge with this season's oilseed rape (OSR) crops and working out what to do. Autumn and winter have been both unseasonably dry and unseasonably war...
Continue reading
  1344 Hits
  0 Comments
1344 Hits
0 Comments

The impact of flea beetle larvae

OSR
​ As if the adult population of cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) wasn't problematic enough last autumn when large areas of oilseed rape were written off, crops are now struggling again as they come out of winter. CSFB larvae are present in high numbers on both heavily grazed crops and even those which appeared to grow away from the pest last year. I...
Continue reading
  2167 Hits
  0 Comments
2167 Hits
0 Comments

Frontrunner - 25th January 2019

BLOG---Frontrunner-Post-Cover-Header
WHEAT Firm pound pushes old crop prices lower Brexit uncertainty continues to fuel huge shifts in the value of the pound. This week the pound appreciated significantly against a host of other currencies reaching 1.16 against the Euro, a level which was last seen in May 2017. Domestic demand for old crop remains strong, but if the UK has an exportab...
Continue reading
  4276 Hits
  0 Comments
4276 Hits
0 Comments

DISCOVERING ICEBERGS at Frontier’s NRoSO sprayer operator days

sprayer4
Our ever-popular sprayer operator days will soon be upon us. As well as a great lunch and sufficient NRoSO points to ensure status on the register is secured, the events give farmers and sprayer operators valuable insight into current industry issues and the chance to discuss guidelines and best practice recommendations. Conversations are always to...
Continue reading
  1364 Hits
  0 Comments
1364 Hits
0 Comments

Foliar feed timings seen to increase maize yields

Frontier-Aylsham-2.7.2015-0184
For some people maize is perhaps seen as a somewhat less worthy crop when it comes to allocating management time and resources. Getting it in, being conservative with inputs and taking whatever yield comes along at harvest is often the order of the day. I think if more growers knew what could be achieved by pushing maize harder, they might take a d...
Continue reading
  1456 Hits
  0 Comments
1456 Hits
0 Comments

Beans to replace a failed WOSR crop?

Frontier-Aylsham-2.7.2015-0258
In numerous counties, the effects of the long, hot summer and the onslaught of cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) on oilseed rape crops are still being felt. Crops that were sown in early-August have established well on the whole and were large enough to withstand the gnawing mouthparts of the adult flea beetle. However, crops sown in mid to late Augu...
Continue reading
  1659 Hits
  0 Comments
1659 Hits
0 Comments

The laws of physics or the rules of nature?

compliance
When I was a lad at school the laws of physics, including Newton's third rule " for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, " seemed of little consequence to me. However, as I grew up I came to realise that the laws of physics are all around us every day and life is bound inextricably to them. To a certain extent nature applies its ow...
Continue reading
  1648 Hits
  0 Comments
1648 Hits
0 Comments

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Cookie Policy.

OK