​Control with Clearfield technology

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With some long overdue rain finally dampening seed beds in the past week, oilseed rape drilling is now well underway for many parts of the UK.However, for some of us the fields are already playing host to thousands of OSR plants, well before we've even set to work putting next year's crop in the ground. These early occupants haven't come from the d...
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Potato desiccation decisions

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As is the case with most opening lines of conversation at the moment, I'm starting this blog with talk of the unprecedented weather we've had. The summer of 2018 will certainly be one to remember, with exceptionally dry conditions hampering the growing season. Across the UK, farmers and growers have been under significant pressure to manage irrigat...
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What would Dragons' Den make of agriculture?

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This blog was first featured as an article in the August issue of Three Counties Farmer Since beginning these monthly columns back in March, I think we've experienced almost every weather condition Mother Nature could throw at us. At times I've written this while watching the snow settle ever deeper and the winds get bitterly cold. I've witnessed w...
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Not everyone likes it hot

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This blog was first featured as an article in the August issue of Three Counties Farmer In the Three Counties we experienced an extremely dry run up to harvest, which quickly turned our crops and accelerated their final stages. However, compare these UK extremes to the likes of Australia and it quickly put things into perspective. They have suffere...
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Are you thinking about companion crops?

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​ Well, harvest is flying! Crops are in the barn much earlier than usual which gives us more time to think about how best to tackle oilseed rape establishment. However, that's not all there is to start planning. Some growers are using this extra time to contemplate companion crops and how they can help bring benefits to their farm.  Companion ...
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Weathering the weather

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Cultivation and drilling strategy for 2018/19 Weather, a subject always of interest to farmers, seems more topical than ever. Today's 'drought summit' sees NFU president, Minette Batters meeting Whitehall officials amid fears that the heatwave could have a serious affect on food production. The implications of drought are wide ranging for agricultu...
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OSR: The importance of early nutrition

OSR-drilling
As we progress through harvest and get into August, one of the next jobs for many will be thinking about drilling oilseed rape. Establishing OSR can be a real challenge and that concern will likely be even greater following the remarkably prolonged hot and dry weather spell we've been experiencing across the UK. Good, rapid establishment is the key...
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Trial new wheat varieties before making commitment

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  This blog was first featured as an article in the July issue of Three Counties Farmer For many arable farmers, July is always a month of preparation and anticipation. The latter is particularly true for harvest and involves waiting for oilseed rape and barley to be fit enough to cut, calculating yields and quality, cleaning out grain sheds, ...
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Be inspired for fresh start in post-harvest

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This blog was first featured as an article in the July issue of Three Counties Farmer Once again, I write this during yet another change in the weather. The cold, wet spring has now given way to some very warm days, some intermittent and heavy downpours and a late growing season which has delivered some amazing growth to both spring and winter sown...
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Pulse crops – what should you do now?

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It has not been an easy year to get any crops drilled in the traditional spring-sowing window of February-March. The winter rainfall and then the 'Beast from the East' all conspired to mean that no drilling took place until the second week of April in the majority of the country. After that, many growers wanted to get their barley crops drilled fir...
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After late drilling, how should you best manage your maize?

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​After the long, cold winter that we all experienced in the early part of 2018, many maize crops were drilled into relatively cold seedbeds at the end of April. Looking back to the May Day bank holiday however, we had some unseasonably high temperatures which then set the scene for the remainder of the month – even leading to some records being bro...
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How to best protect your investment at T3 in winter wheat

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In spite of turbulent weather this spring most crops are looking reasonably clean. The focus now turns to protecting the investment made to date and ensuring crops fulfil their full potential, both in-terms of yield and quality. The true fusarium risk this season is still to evolve and will very much depend on the weather conditions in the next cou...
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What can you do to minimise erucic acid levels in oilseed rape?

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Oilseed rape remains one of the most profitable break crops and has a key role to play in the rotation. This is particularly true where there is a black-grass issue due to the ability to use non-resistant chemistry. However, increasing levels of erucic acid are proving problematic. Oilseed rape is an expensive crop to grow so any rejections due to ...
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Foliar nitrogen options for milling wheat – which product works best?

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  A recent blog from SOYL looked at how variable rate applications of foliar nitrogen could help to maximise protein levels in milling wheat. While this is an advantageous method to help meet the target, it's also worthwhile considering the type of foliar nitrogen being used and which is best suited to the job. This year it is vital for those ...
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Frontier’s winter wheat variety trials 2017/18

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Following our recent blog on the new wheat varieties, we wanted to share with you a more in-depth insight into our winter wheat variety trials. Our wheat variety trials are a fundamental part of our 3D Thinking programme, with our findings highly anticipated by growers and including both National and Recommended List (RL) work. This year, we have w...
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The final nutrition decision in oilseed rape – maximise its potential

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Recent dry and warm weather has encouraged oilseed rape crops into full flower and the countryside is dappled with bright, yellow fields. It is easy at this stage to forget about the preceding weather and the impact it has had on managing these crops this year. The relatively warm autumn and early winter meant that soil nitrogen levels were potenti...
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N-protect: Safeguard your liquid fertiliser from losses

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After an extremely cold and wet period across March and early April, it's good to finally see some warm and dry weather. In fact, we had the warmest April day for nearly 70 years, so the change in forecast has been quite remarkable to say the least. This has been great for crop growth and has allowed significant amounts of spring crops to be drille...
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Will cover crops benefit farmers north of the border?

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With the environmental and agronomic benefits they bring, it is not surprising that cover crops have become increasingly popular throughout the UK. However in Scotland, thanks to cooler climates and the later harvest of cereal crops, the use of over-winter cover crops poses a particular challenge. For example In Tayside, spring barley will typicall...
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Spring pulse sowing

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Almost the entire country has fallen foul to the wet weather this spring. Apart from a very short break just before Easter, the severity of the recent rainfall has precluded almost any seedbed preparation and sowing of crops. In fact, it is now the middle of April and many growers are asking, " It is too late to sow spring beans ?" Whilst we genera...
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Protecting soil from erosion

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At the Oxford Farming Conference, Michael Gove spoke to growers about the increasing pressures on our agricultural industry. One of the most influential factors is the ever-growing global population, expanding at an alarming rate. With it comes higher consumer expectations and an increased demand for high-quality, wholesome foods, alongside greater...
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