In his second year of growing maize in tandem with beans, Jonathan Evans of Berry Hill Farm in Pembrokeshire has learned some valuable lessons, particularly in terms of crop establishment, variety selection and the importance of weed control.
The importance of upholding soil health and sustaining its productivity for the future is essential. No matter what the enterprise, we are reliant on soil for all production, either to produce our crops or forage to feed livestock. Therefore, measures must be taken to conserve soil, which is more vulnerable to erosion and the leaching of essential nutrients over the winter months, especially after the harvest of maize crops.
Autumn 2023 was a difficult one for many, with the only real drilling window way back in September we have seen a deluge of rain since which seems to have no end in sight, with forecasts predicting wet weather into the new year. This has meant only a handful of opportunities to get on the land to cultivate and then sow autumn crops.
As we start to look to what 2024 will bring, it’s a natural instinct to turn to spring cereals for any land that didn’t get planted in the autumn - deliberately or otherwise! However, with shortages of spring cereals it’s now more important than ever to remember that autumn cereals can be sown successfully into the new year. So, here are my top tips for late sowing winter wheat!
Nutrient management planning ensures that crops receive the right nutrients in the right amounts at the right time. When done effectively, it not only promotes healthy crop growth but also maximises yields and minimises environmental impacts.
Rachel Clifton, one of our experts in nutrient management planning, sheds light on the plan’s key principles and practices, and what is involved in the process of getting one.
When growing high yielding varieties, often other agronomic features such as disease resistance are sometimes overlooked. The fungicides at our disposal today are capable of producing extremely good results, but it is important to apply as much thought to the fungicide programme and timings as to the choice of product, to achieve optimum yield potential.
Over recent years, the emphasis has moved away from reactive fungicide applications to treat visible disease in the crop, and more towards a strategy where prevention is better than cure. To achieve this, the fungicides must be applied at the correct time and early in the development of the disease, or even before infection occurs, with timing infl uenced by growth stage, weather and the variety’s disease resistance.
This season we have seen considerable pressure of septoria tritici, therefore it is worthwhile to recap the biggest yield-robbing disease to winter wheat and what we can help do to fight against it.
Septoria tritici blotch is a fungal disease of wheat that causes significant yield losses. It is caused by the fungus Zymoseptoria tritici, which overwinters on infected crop debris and plant residues. The fungus can infect wheat at any growth stage, but it is most common in the autumn and spring when the weather is cool and wet.
Before making fertiliser purchase decisions, farmers are advised to review an array of factors which will determine a crops need, be it the type or quantity of fertiliser.
Over the last 20 months, we have seen a hike in fertiliser prices due to the war in Ukraine and so it is more important than ever that farmers are making informed decisions around fertiliser applications.
Beneficial soil microbes play a critical role in the acquisition, ‘renaturing’ and transfer of soil nutrients into plants. Biofertilisers (microbial biostimulants) comprise living micro-organisms which, unlike traditional fertilisers multiply as they enter the ground, act to increase Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE) of plants.
In a world where input costs are rising and soil health is rightly being championed, building soil biology is a very practical way to reduce fertigation and improve soil structure and carbon
Gema and Prospect are two of the best-performing maize varieties on the BSPB/NIAB Recommended List and are excellent choices for farmers wanting to maximise milk production from maize and achieve a good return on their crop’s investment.
YieldON is an innovative new biostimulant from Valagro UK Ltd and has been developed using cutting edge genomics technology. Three years of trials in the UK have shown some impressive yield responses from a single application of YieldOn at flag leaf in cereals and mid-flowering in oilseed rape. The company have also recently started trials with forage maize.