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#FrontierWest - Weathering the rain

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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#FrontierWest - Long term grain storage and calculating tonnage

We are now over half way through the marketing year, with harvest '18 in our sights. I am based out of our Ross-on-Wye Frontier office, farm trading in the West and with our grain markets still at relatively static levels this has sparked more focus for long holders to start securing end markets for old crop grain. Many growers across the three cou...

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#FrontierWest - Ledbury update

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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#FrontierSouth - Opting for marketing pools

With the short break over Christmas now a distant memory but spring right around the corner, it's great to be back to day-to-day farm trading in the South East. I'm part of the team attached to the #3DThinking Wingham site which is really important to us as a tool for helping growers choose their varieties for the following crop year. On that subje...

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Working Catchment Sensitive Farming and farmland wildlife options within Mid Tier

Following Michael Gove's recent speech at the Oxford Farming Conference in which he began to outline the future direction of agricultural policy in England, it is becoming increasingly clear that soil health, water quality and biodiversity are very high up on the agenda. These issues could be addressed with the 'stick' of regulation or with the 'ca...

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SOYL to conduct UK's largest variable rate nitrogen trial

Please click here to visit the SOYL website For those of you who have visited one of our Winter Workshops you will have heard about our launch of the largest ever variable rate nitrogen trial. Here at SOYL we have recognised that an area of huge potential in precision farming is the ability to carry out on-farm trials. While it not only aids ongoin...

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The Big Farmland Bird Count

With winter in full swing and farmland birds seeking out all of the opportunities on farm to feed themselves, now is the time to see how they are faring on your own farm. Each year, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) host the Big Farmland Bird Count. Farmers and land managers undertake a lot of work to help protect and nurture the wild...

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Exploring your options for cover crop desiccation

At this point in the New Year (and if you haven't already) it's time to plan how you're going to break down your cover crop. While it's true that frosts can do some of the work, most winters (including this one) won't kill cover crops outright. How yours is destroyed can be as important as what was actually grown to allow for the best entry into yo...

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Moving to liquid potato seed treatment

​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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Has tram lining weed seed brought something new to the party when it comes to black-grass management?

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

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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Simplified offers for new Countryside Stewardship Agreements

The complexities of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme have been well documented. They range from an over-complicated application process and onerous evidence and record-keeping requirements, to difficult to navigate online guidance and delays in agreement offers. In a recent announcement on the GOV.UK website, it seems that DEFRA and Natural Engla...

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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 the...

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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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Get a precise focus on your EFAs

Changes are ahead for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs). However, by taking a more precise approach to tailor the farm areas allocated to EFAs and choosing longer term crop options, they still represent a fantastic opportunity to improve biodiversity and the farm's bottom line. EFAs have hit the headlines due to the imminent removal of the use of Plant...

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Why should I be digitally recording on-farm data?

Over the coming winter months I will be talking to hundreds of UK farmers about SOYL's Precision Farming application, MySOYL, and other associated in-field apps. Many will likely wonder what value there is in recording what they see on farm in an app and have this data synced to a central place. Our field-walking app, iSOYLscout, does exactly this ...

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Data analysis comes alive at this year's workshops

A few clients have asked me what to expect at this year's SOYL winter workshops. You can find a general overview in this article but as the team finalise their slide decks, I'm starting to see a very clear theme: Data. There's been a lot of talk about data in recent years and we're now starting to see very positive learnings by analysing complex pr...

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Why and how would you do your own late-November plant counts?

During germination a proportion of viable seeds can fail to emerge due to pests, diseases and soil conditions, impacting the total viable plants in the spring. Conversely, too high a plant population can increase canopy size (GAI) and reduce the ability of individual plants to compete for light and resources, meaning there will be fewer grains on e...

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Have you considered correcting your pH with lime?

We experience many different scenarios during the farming year while providing support and files to over 100 lime contractors from across the UK. After what has been a very hectic few weeks dealing with lime contractors desperate to get onto clear land, I thought it would be worth writing a short blog on liming and things to consider when it comes ...

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Managing establishment

The establishment of crops is measured by the percentage of seeds that result in a viable crop. For example, what would be considered the 'good' part of a field might establish at 90%, whereas a 'poor' part may only establish at 50%.SOYL customers have access to several tools designed to aid with managing crop establishment, as well as lots of info...

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