#FrontierWest - Key points of discussion from our local 3DThinking meetings

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Over 125 growers attended our local 3D Thinking meetings to hear the latest findings and advice from our Discovery, Development and Demonstration programmes. With breakfast events held in Herefordshire and Worcestershire and an evening meeting in Gloucestershire, there was a large attendance from across the West Midlands and Wales. The meetings gav...
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#FrontierSouth - What do a football legend and a farm trader have in common?

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I had the privilege of meeting England 1966 World Cup goal scorer Sir Geoff Hurst at the beginning of my career. Sir Geoff was giving an after dinner speech at an awards ceremony during my time at Bishop Burton College. One of the things he said to us was: "Go out and be the best you can be in your chosen field and never give up." These words are a...
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#FrontierWest - Weathering the rain

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Recently, there have been huge variations in weather between the counties and over very short distances. A generalisation that it has been either wet or dry wouldn't necessarily be true for all. With that in mind, I want to take a look at the weather and the influence this has had on soils and cropping over winter. In Herefordshire and the three co...
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#FrontierWest - Long term grain storage and calculating tonnage

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We are now over half way through the marketing year, with harvest '18 in our sights. I am based out of our Ross-on-Wye Frontier office, farm trading in the West and with our grain markets still at relatively static levels this has sparked more focus for long holders to start securing end markets for old crop grain. Many growers across the three cou...
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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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Oilseed rape trials update

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As I'm sure you are aware, we are losing actives in oilseed rape all too regularly. Orius P (tebuconazole + prochloraz) has been revoked as of May 2019 in oilseed rape (although re-registered in wheat, rye and triticale) and Refinzar (picoxystrobin + penthiopyrad) and Oranis (picoxystrobin) must be used by March 2019 to name a few. However, there i...
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#FrontierWest - Ledbury update

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It's been a busy start to the year carrying out training and visiting growers in Herefordshire. I am a trainee agronomist at Frontier in the west and also involved with the team that look after the #3DThinking Ledbury site. The trials that take place there offer valuable insight into the differences between several crop varieties and are a vital ai...
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Moving to liquid potato seed treatment

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​ 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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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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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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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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#FrontierEast - Gearing up for Christmas - Swaffham, Norfolk

December marks the start of the festive period and as the song goes, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." However, for a young aspiring agronomist December is not all about winding down, but gearing up! The winter months give an ideal opportunity for meetings, discussion groups, farm planning, cropping reports, assessing harvest results and ...
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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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Can we support your event? An open invitation to the industry

There's a saying that there's no such thing as a free lunch and while that might be true, there is such a thing as a free presentation on the very latest in precision farming techniques and tips. It is the time of year when I and other senior members of the SOYL team spend a lot of time presenting to growers around the country. We have always enjoy...
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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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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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