Don’t overlook boron in your OSR crop this autumn

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Boron is a key nutrient for oilseed rape, with its main functions associated with aiding stem elongation and flowering. While these developments will happen later next spring, it is important to start addressing some of this need now before the crop enters winter.  The last thing we want is OSR coming out of the colder months with a deficiency...
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The value of fresh phosphate fertiliser

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​ For the most part, many of us will admit that when it comes to fertiliser applications we can be guilty of concentrating solely on the application of nitrogen. The most common questions often revolve around the correct nitrogen rates and predicted yield responses but, in all honesty, it isn't all we should be thinking about. As an industry, when ...
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Get the most from your yield map data

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​ Imagine if there was a way to automatically know which areas of your production system are most profitable and those which are loss-making. Wouldn't it be great to know which management decisions had paid off, which new methods of working had or hadn't worked and if all of this information could be collected with minimum effort? For farmers that ...
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The importance of accurate and detailed soil sampling

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As I write this, I am travelling on the train from Edinburgh to Newark. What is great about travelling on the train is seeing, in detail, the beautiful British countryside. It's a great opportunity to review the land and see the huge variations that exist within fields. Even within stubble fields you can see the differences in crop thickness from o...
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Don’t lose sight of tuber blight management in the run-up to harvest of stored maincrops

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2018 has thrown a range of challenges at potato growers and agronomists, such that blight control has increasingly taken a back seat as the season has progressed. It will be no surprise to anyone that data now shows that soil moisture has been widely yield-limiting due to the unusually high rates of evapotranspiration, even where irrigation was clo...
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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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Correcting your soil pH

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Sitting here on a Friday, surrounded by colleagues taking calls from lime contractors across the UK, I thought it would be worthwhile to address the importance of correcting your pH. With the earlier harvest, land being clear and the need for some rain before OSR cultivations can really begin in many areas of the UK, there's a good opportunity for ...
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PK timings

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As customers get the combines out, some are also turning their thoughts towards next season and what will need doing for the new crop. Cropping plans are starting to roll in to the Applications Team inbox so fertiliser can be ordered in the hope of a good harvest and drilling conditions, allowing for an autumn application of phosphate and potash (P...
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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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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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Foliar nitrogen options for milling wheat – which product works best?

Wheat-5
  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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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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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

Frontier-1966
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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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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#FrontierSouth - T1 – what should we do?

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T1 is one of the key fungicide timings and can be the most variable from a fungicide input point of view. T2 is widely regarded as the most important timing and brings the best yield responses, by protecting the flag leaf. T1 can be used for anything from protecting the freshly emerged leaf-three through to playing catch up because of the weather. ...
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#FrontierSouth - Preparing for new season fertiliser

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​New season fertiliser will be upon us in the next couple of months. With many farmers caught out by this season's price rise, what can you do today to mitigate your risk? What caused this year's price trend? Global urea values increased by £60 per tonne throughout the season. China – the world's biggest producer – had reduced exports by almos...
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#FrontierEast – Our 3D Thinking programme

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Earlier in the year, we hosted two meetings in the eastern region. With our 3D Thinking open days just around the corner and the opportunity to continue discussing some of the key topics raised, I thought it would be useful to look back at the information that was shared. Over 110 growers attended both events, descending upon the very frosty Walsha...
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Review your application plans for grassland

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​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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