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Companion crops: supporting OSR establishment

OSR landscape

While the place of oilseed rape as a commercial break crop has been unchallenged for many years, increased pressure from cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) in many regions – coupled with other variables such as soil type, previous cropping considerations, moisture availability and variety choice – has meant that the successful establishment of the crop requires some important planning.

Fortunately though, for those considering oilseed rape in next year's rotation, there could be quite an innovative 'tool' available within the establishment 'workshop'.

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Pre-harvest grain store management

CROP-PRODUCTION-STORAGE

The ability to store grain can be a fundamental aspect of a crop marketing strategy, providing growers with the opportunity to sell for later movement.

Of course, this can only be successful when effective grain storage facilities and management plans are in place, as these are pivotal for safeguarding premiums and grain quality to lessen the risk of rejections and claims.

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The value of a sound crop protection program

winter-wheat

​Over the past decade, we have seen many new fungicide actives tested and have also lost many others from the store as they are revoked.​

As growers start to look closely at fungicide programs for their winter wheat crops, it is interesting to look into the yield trends generated in Frontier's 3D Thinking trials to see where the contribution to overall yield will come from during the growing season.

The 3D Thinking program has always studied fungicides, their effect on yield and how to maximise the value gained from them.

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Ramularia leaf spot in barley – life after chlorothalonil

barley

Ramularia causes leaf spot symptoms in barley. While it has typically been more of an issue in the north of the UK, it is now being reported with increasing frequency further south. The disease has historically been a bigger issue in spring barley but the economic losses in winter barley are now an increasing problem too.

The disease has a complicated life cycle and is seed, air and trash-borne. The fungus, Ramularia collo-cygni, causes ramularia and grows from infected seed. It then moves systemically within new plant growth. Airborne spores produced on trash and crop debris can also infect plants.

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Variable crops will require a considered PGR approach this season

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​ 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...
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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...
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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...
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Hold your nerve – don’t drill fields with bad black-grass until mid-October

black-grass-after-delayed-drilling
The drilling of cereals is progressing at pace in many parts of the UK, with the majority of crops going into good seedbeds. However, there are some areas that could do with a decent night's rain and, more importantly, those who have fields with a black-grass problem should actually be prepared to wait. Managing black-grass It is now well accepted ...
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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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Pulse crops – what should you do now?

Beans-Numbland--Norfolk-MayJun-009
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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How to best protect your investment at T3 in winter wheat

Frontier-Aylsham-2.7.2015-0145
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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#FrontierSouth - Start summer at a Malshanger 3DThinking open day

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As part of my role as a farm trader, I take a proactive interest in crop development throughout the season to make sure I am providing the best possible advice to my growers. This can vary from anything to do with varietal choice right through to suitable marketing strategies based on what I am seeing in the field.   3DThinking This week, I vi...
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#FrontierSouth - T1 – what should we do?

Frontier-Aylsham-2.7.2015-0147
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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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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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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No-spray buffer zones - not all herbicides are created equal

No-spray buffer zones have become more common on Plant Protection Product (PPP) labels as greater environmental standards are applied by the regulators. No-spray buffers make products more difficult to use, but are good in that otherwise the affected products would not be available in the UK. Products containing clomazone, a herbicide used by many ...
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