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The value of fresh phosphate fertiliser

​For the most part, many of us will admit that when it comes to fertiliser applications we can be guilty of concentrating solely on the application of nitrogen. The most common questions often revolve around the correct nitrogen rates and predicted yield responses but, in all honesty, it isn't all we should be thinking about. As an industry, when f...

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

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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Think like a racing driver when selling your grain

This blog was first featured as an article in the October issue of Three Counties Farmer: There are few jobs that could be classed as 24/7, 365 days a year but farming is one of them. For those who sell their combinable crops, the grain market is ever changing and the global markets also sit within this 'open all hours' bracket. We often draw paral...

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Frontrunner - 5th October 2018

WHEAT  Demand for UK feed narrows premiums Consumer demand for feed wheat leant support to UK prices this week, with futures and physical grain trading up £4-£5 over the five days. Strong demand from the pig and poultry sectors, as well as ruminants, pushed some feed compounders to consider current lower prices as a 'buy.' Pitched against a we...

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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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Catch crops: don’t get caught out

Catch crops, sown in the summer, can be used very effectively as part of an Ecological Focus Area (EFA) greening requirement. These crops offer potential benefits to soil and rotation management beyond the financial rewards of EFA. However, it's important to comply with EFA criteria around management dates. Catch crops that were established by the ...

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Frontrunner - 28th September 2018

WHEAT  Slow trade This week's wheat market has moved in a very narrow trading range, seeing no fresh features of note giving any particular price direction. The USDA will publish their quarterly stocks report late this afternoon after we go to print, which is expected to reinforce bearish carry out figures for US grains. Final 2017/18 UK balan...

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Market report - 24th September 2018

World markets: Chicago wheat futures closed slightly lower on Friday but still showed a net gain of 2% on the week. After starting lower early last week, wheat fought back with gains driven by more bad weather in Australia and rising black sea prices. The US spring wheat harvest is nearly finished, now at 97% complete and winter wheat plantings are...

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Frontrunner - 21st September 2018

WHEAT  Market reactions UK markets fought back this week with £5/t gains on London wheat futures, reversing the downward trend seen for the majority of the past month. Global markets galvanised support from the less-than-ideal harvesting conditions in the Russian spring wheat area, as well as dry and unseasonably cold temperatures hitting the ...

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What to do now as we approach the beet lifting season?

Crop differences Planting of the 2018 beet crop was delayed by wet soils, with most crops going into the ground in April. Ironically, what happened next was then dependent on whether or not the seedbed had sufficient moisture for establishment. Some crops had good levels of moisture and warmth to set a good plant stand and grow away quickly to cove...

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Market report - 18th September 2018

World markets: US wheat futures continued to slide yesterday. The fund sell off that started with the USDA report last Wednesday night has continued into the start of this week, keeping the negative tone in wheat markets. The trade war between the US and China has returned to the headlines, as President Trump imposes new tariffs on the equivalent o...

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It’s win-win if we work together

​This blog was first featured as an article in the September issue of Three Counties Farmer What a difference a day makes. It's a lovely song by Dinah Washington, originally written in Spanish by Maria Grever. It's been covered by many artists over the years and no doubt murdered on the X Factor in more recent times. Having been lucky enough to tra...

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Frontrunner - 14th September 2018

WHEAT  USDA report sets a bearish scene; Wednesday's much anticipated USDA report shocked the trade, with significant increases to US corn yields well above the average trade estimates released before the report. Global corn production was also increased to 1,069 million tonnes. Although not directly related to wheat prices, this 35 million to...

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Market report - 13th September 2018

World markets: US wheat dropped sharply after yesterday's United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report; corn numbers were the biggest driver in grains and the numbers were very bearish. US corn yields were raised to 181.3 bushels per acre which was well above the trade's estimates. Eight states were seen as producing record yields and this...

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Market report - 11th September 2018

World markets: US wheat started the week stronger yesterday, supported by a downgrade to the Australian crop from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and more speculation about possible Russian export restrictions. US exports are currently running 31% down from last year's pace – a restriction to Russi...

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Frontrunner - 7th September 2018

WHEAT  Wheat prices on the slide London wheat futures lost £8 per tonne this week, slipping to seven-week lows as the bullish rivers ran dry. Russia chose not to introduce any restrictions to their wheat exports and this has been the catalyst for a wave of long liquidation on world futures markets. However, it is likely that this issue will re...

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Don’t lose sight of tuber blight management in the run-up to harvest of stored maincrops

2018 has thrown a range of challenges at potato growers and agronomists, such that blight control has increasingly taken a back seat as the season has progressed. It will be no surprise to anyone that data now shows that soil moisture has been widely yield-limiting due to the unusually high rates of evapotranspiration, even where irrigation was clo...

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Market report - 4th September 2018

World Markets: The US was closed yesterday for their Labor Day holiday, but traded lower on the overnight session following news from Russia that counteracted last week's ideas of export restrictions. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday that they do not consider it necessary to introduce export duties or restrictions but they are con...

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