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Frontrunner - 13th April 2018

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WHEAT World round-up US wheat futures fell steadily this week following better forecasts for the drought-stricken Plains. This is good news for winter crops, but only time will tell if it will spell better news for crop ratings which currently sit at a 20-year low. Matif wheat made a five-year high on Monday, following last week's firmer US markets...
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Delayed applications for arable crops – what next?

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While a distant memory, the warm, dry weather of October and November allowed most winter crops to be drilled in fairly good conditions and establish well. It also encouraged mineralisation, producing good levels of nitrogen to aid early growth. In fact, in the run up to Christmas it very much looked like soil nitrogen levels would be higher than n...
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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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#FrontierWest - Discovering and managing yellow rust

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Although the 'beast from the east' has now left us, it certainly made an impact in Herefordshire by bringing with it a blanket of snow and -5 temperatures, not least with the chaos it caused across the country. Because of this, it's not surprising that input discussions and fertiliser recommendations were put on hold. However, ahead of the storm we...
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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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#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 - 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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Has tram lining weed seed brought something new to the party when it comes to black-grass management?

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Five months on since harvest feels like a good time to review what, if anything, tram lining has added to the armoury when it comes to the management of black-grass.By way of a re-cap, Frontier Agriculture, in collaboration with EW Davies farms Ltd, Rothamsted, AHDB and Primary Sales from Western Australia, installed a 'chaff deck' onto farmer Jere...
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Frontier #3DThinking trials progress

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All of our 3DThinking sites established well last autumn. As we move further into winter we take a look at some of the headline trials and their performance to date. While the cropping range varies across sites, all are conducting winter wheat trials focused on variety, nutrition, seed treatment and crop protection.   1 Muir of Ord  ...
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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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Is it too early to start or too late to begin?

The quandary over when drilling winter wheat in the winter should be replaced by spring wheat in the spring, or when spring wheat should be drilled in the winter continues to surface at this time of year. The answer may not revolve around the cultivar but more around the reasons for the discussion. If we knew that black-grass was no longer going to...
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From 'must have' iPhones... to 'must have' wheats

Listening to the news this week about the launch of the iPhone 10 (or iPhone X as it's going to be known) and the eye watering price at which this new device has been listed, made me think about the annual new wheat variety launch we see in the UK. I have no doubt that iPhone X will already have a sell out order book as people rush to have the late...
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