Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

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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Best practice for warm weather and high temperatures

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With the hot and dry weather set to continue, Kings sales manager, Richard Barnes, discusses the impact for game cover and wild bird seed crops across the UK and how to manage them for best results.   Having been an advisor with Kings for 15 years, how does this year's weather compare to that of previous years? Every year has its own challenge...
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Take care of your farm’s biggest asset

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This article was first published in the June edition of 3 Counties Farmer I've been told on many occasions the best time to plant a tree was 40 years ago and the next best time is... tomorrow! Thinking further than a day ahead can seem quite difficult when you are in the thick of a busy growing season, hampered by cold and wet conditions while atte...
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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 life of a precision applications advisor

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The weather has improved lately and workload for growers and advisors has increased. I am a relatively new member of the crop applications team at SOYL precision and I thought I'd share some insight into our role and how we support farmers. The crop applications team - what we do to support farmers: We create fertiliser recommendations for over one...
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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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Over-winter nitrogen losses and spring N levels

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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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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 - 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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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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Variable rate nitrogen - A different perspective

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At our recent workshops, I addressed variable rate nitrogen and some of the often 'overlooked' added benefits associated with it.  We have always talked about yield being the key benefit of variable rate nitrogen, with typical responses being somewhere between 3 –8%. In a survey I carried out in June last year, I spoke to over 100 growers and ...
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Technological innovations

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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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Crucial considerations for successful spring crop establishment following cover crops

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By now, most farmers have destroyed their cover crops and are waiting for the 'ideal' time to drill their spring crops. On heavy land however, that 'ideal' might never come and it's often a test of nerves to see when the land will be fit enough to stand the pressures of heavy machinery. While we seem to be experiencing further adverse weather condi...
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Precision soil management

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Over the past decade the national average wheat yield has remained relatively static at around 8.5 t/ha. However, set this against the biophysical potential of wheat at 19t/ha and the UK's highest recorded wheat yield of 16.52 t/ha back in 2015, and there is clearly a realistic opportunity to improve yields on farm.  But, how can this be achie...
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Magnesium - the forgotten nutrient?

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At our winter workshops, we discussed the importance of magnesium. It is essential for plant development and occurs naturally in soils across the UK. The amount of magnesium found is predominately dictated by the local geology and, to a lesser degree, soil texture. Fields located over dolomitic limestone will have much higher indices of magnes...
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#FrontierSouth - First Nitrogen Dilemma

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At the time of writing this, the sun's out here in Kent, there's a cloudless sky and the thermometer is touching double digits. Get the spreaders out, it's Saturday afternoon and a rest weekend in the Six Nations. Hold your horses I urge you, as a glance at the faultless weather forecast proves not so conducive for the coming weeks. A band of heavy...
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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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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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