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Meet the team at various events this year

In my role, I often get asked which events we'll be attending and where customers can catch up with us over the coming months. Our local SOYL colleagues regularly attend and host events up and down the country, sharing expertise and helping customers to make the most of every hectare. Events are a key element of our agricultural calendar and someth...

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High res imagery; allowing innovation and intervention

Remote sensing in agriculture is nothing new. However, with drones gaining more publicity over the last few years, some would argue it has felt somewhat revolutionary all over again. Rather than new sensors, what actually came along were new platforms and all too often it is only these that get the attention. We're all made aware when the latest se...

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Variable crops will require a considered PGR approach this season

​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 warm...

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Story of a field

There has been a lot of interest in variable rate nitrogen this season driven by crops that are full of potential, and good market prices. SOYL's variable rate nitrogen service, based on reliable satellite imagery, has proven yield and protein benefits. One way of showing how we achieve these improvements is to show visually how the crop responds t...

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What is the best phosphate product?

The use of phosphate fertilisers has always caused more confusion than other nutrients.Choice of fertiliser to give the best long and short term availability is often a topic we are asked by growers. Different forms of phosphate (such as orthophosphate or dicalcium phosphate) and the complex relationship that phosphate has with calcium, iron and pH...

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Grow your precision strategy at CropTec 2018

SOYL has been exhibiting at CropTec since it first started back in 2013. In the four times that it has been held since, the show has grown considerably and is a valuable chance for growers to talk to us in a focussed yet informal and relaxed environment. CropTec is considered the "UK's leading technical and knowledge exchange event for the arable f...

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How does SOYL customer support work?

With autumn drilling well underway, I thought I would share a little insight into how our SOYL customer cupport team works with growers during these busy months. Farmer support SOYL customer support offers advice and assistance on a variety of different areas in precision farming. From step-by-step guidance for connecting iSOYL to a drill control s...

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Planning field scouting before you get to the field

Oh, to be more organised! Much of what we see around the farm is reactive, driving past a field or walking across it and recording what you see. This is how crop development has been managed and monitored for a very long time. However, there is a different way and it is based upon the information that you have already recorded across the farm. Data...

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We had the wind in our sails at Tillage Live 2018

I had the pleasure of attending Tillage Live 2018 last week. This year, the event was held in Dunbar, East Lothian and although SOYL have always supported the event, it had been of couple of years since I'd been myself. I was really looking forward to exploring the site, talking to lots of attendees and seeing the impressive demonstrations on show....

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Get the most from your yield map data

​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 t...

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The importance of accurate and detailed soil sampling

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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Should I be variably drilling my oilseed rape?

This is a question I am often asked when discussing plans with growers and my most common response is, "Why wouldn't you?" For me, as with any crop, it makes perfect sense to adopt variable rate drilling for OSR. Particularly for helping to create the optimum, even canopy as the correct seed rate can hugely contribute to this. Optimum canopies Toda...

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Correcting your soil pH

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

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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Target applications to maximise protein %

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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Weed mapping

Weed mapping has been around, in various guises, for some time. For example, it might be in real-time by identifying weeds in the field and directing a spray nozzle during application. Or it could be based upon creating maps of weed infestations ahead of application. Application technology will get more accurate and, if we allow our minds to wander...

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Over-winter nitrogen losses and spring N levels

SOYL have undertaken a nitrogen sampling project at a number of sites across the UK. These sites had a range of differing soil types, allowing us to assess over-winter changes in soil nitrogen levels. A comparison of nitrogen levels in March, compared with those measured in November, has shown a significant over-winter loss, averaging 50kg/ha N or ...

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Technological innovations

Well, the winter workshop campaign has finished for another year and was hugely successful – it is always a pleasure to tour the country seeing our customers. At the workshops, I talked about what we have been developing at SOYL over the last year, as well as how and why farmers should be using these innovations within their businesses. Importance ...

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Variable rate plant growth regulators (PGRs)

SOYL have been conducting trials using variable rate plant growth regulators (PGRs) on both winter oilseed rape and winter wheat. The premise for variable applications on both crops is the same – that there will be a yield benefit from applying a full rate of PGR on crops that are at risk from lodging because of over-large canopies. However, if the...

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Precision farming and grassland

Over the past few seasons, SOYL has been developing precision farming services for the grassland industry. Grass is the UK's largest crop and is grown in every county. A particular area that became a focus was that of pasture management and we discussed this during our winter workshops. A grassland and livestock famer needs to make constant decisio...

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