Richard

tilling soil to plant swedes

How to determine if soil is dry enough to be tilled

Determining whether soil in fields is dry enough for cultivation is crucial for successful farming. Here’s a guide to help you assess soil moisture levels: Different types of tillage such as ploughing or rotovating, are carried out at different moisture levels for optimal performance. Monitoring soil moisture regularly and adjusting cultivation practices accordingly is key

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my swede seeds coated with thiram germinating

Thiram: The seed coating fungicide banned in the EU

Thiram, a chemical compound called tetramethylthiuram disulfide, was used as a fungicide, primarily aimed at safeguarding crops against fungal diseases during cultivation and storage. Its effectiveness in protecting crops, including swedes, from harmful fungal infections made it a staple in agricultural practices. However, the European Union (EU) took a decisive step in 2019 by banning

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redshank growing in a field of my swedes

Tackling Redshank weeds in Northern Ireland

Dealing with the Redshank weed here in Northern Ireland has been nothing short of a Herculean task. This invasive plant, scientifically known as Persicaria maculosa, has become a relentless adversary for farmers and growers like myself, posing significant challenges to our efforts in maintaining healthy and productive land. Identifying this weed is relatively straightforward, with

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Fungal diseases in swede crops: identification, treatment and timing

Swede crops, known for their hardiness once established, are not immune to fungal diseases. After I have got over the hurdle of getting the swede crop germinated and past the rough leaf stage I then need to watch for fungal diseases in the crop. I find it easier to address problems if I know what

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the seed coating start up on a bag of swedes

Enhancing swede seed performance: seed coatings

I know from experience that growing swedes requires meticulous attention to detail to ensure optimal seedling establishment and yield. One small part of this process is buying swede seeds which have already had seed coatings applied. These coatings play a significant role in protecting seeds from diseases and pests while promoting healthy germination and early

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one of my potatoes sprouting in the store

Using sprout inhibitors on potatoes

Sprout inhibitors are designed to delay the sprouting of potatoes, but they do not stop sprouting indefinitely. These chemicals or natural substances suppress the growth of sprouts during storage. The effectiveness and duration of sprout inhibition depend on the type of inhibitor used, the concentration applied, storage conditions, and the inherent characteristics of the potato

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my field of spring oats establishing

Good establishment practices for oats

Optimal oat yields are my goal each year I sow oats. For me to achieve this goal I must start with excellent crop establishment. This involves meticulous preparation, addressing soil health, and nutrient availability, and employing strategic cultivation techniques. Soil health: the foundation of success Healthy soil, characterised by adequate drainage and structure, is fundamental.

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My cold store with boxes of potatoes in it

Why cold storage reigns supreme in keeping potatoes fresh

Cold storage stands as the undisputed champion in preserving the freshness and quality of potatoes, offering unmatched benefits that ensure optimal conditions for extended periods. Let me explain why cold storage is the ultimate solution for keeping potatoes fresh. 1. Temperature control In my experience, cold stores which maintain a consistent temperature range between 4

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our bunning lowlander dung spreader

The evolution of dung spreaders on farms

As someone who is connected to the land, the evolution of dung spreaders intrigues me. From simple tools to sophisticated machinery, their development reflects our journey towards efficient and sustainable farming practices. Let’s delve into the history of dung spreaders on farms, exploring the practical innovations that have shaped modern agriculture. The use of dung

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a reseeded grass field

Reseeding grassland: how and when to do it

Reseeding grassland is a fundamental aspect of farming, essential for productive pastures and sustaining livestock feed production. In this guide, I delve into the main considerations and best practices for this process, focusing on traditional methods and optimal timing. The traditional way to reseed grassland in the UK Preparation and Assessment: Before beginning the reseeding

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my seed potatoes with seed dressing on them

The pros and cons of using potato seed dressings

Adding a seed dressing or treatment to seed potatoes before planting can significantly impact their growth and yield. In this article, I delve into the pros and cons of using potato seed dressings, along with common names of seed dressings used in potato growing. I have witnessed the positive effects of using a seed treatment

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barley growing in a field

Nutrient requirements and pH levels for growing barley

Barley, a versatile cereal grain, serves as a staple food and plays a significant role in various industries, including brewing and animal feed production. To ensure robust growth and maximum yield, getting your nutrient requirements and pH levels for barley near to optimum is essential. It goes without saying, that you will need to do

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using IoT for agriculture

What is Internet of Things (IoT) and how is it used in agriculture?

In today’s agriculture, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are changing the game, making farms smarter, more efficient, and more productive. Here’s how IoT is shaking things up on the farm: IoT explained The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) refers to the interconnected network of physical devices and objects embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies

What is Internet of Things (IoT) and how is it used in agriculture? Read More »

applying chemicals to crops

Integrated pest management: a simple explanation

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a method used to control pests in farming, which is essential because pests can damage crops and affect farmers’ livelihoods. It’s about managing pests with minimal impact on the environment and human health, using different methods to control pests in a balanced way. In IPM, farmers first identify and monitor

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a field of swedes just sown

How deep should swede seeds be planted?

Seed depth is a critical factor in the cultivation of swedes, influencing the germination process and subsequent growth. Understanding the ideal depth for planting swede seeds is essential for ensuring a healthy and robust crop. In this article, we’ll delve into various factors that influence seeding depth, providing detailed guidelines tailored to different soil types

How deep should swede seeds be planted? Read More »

a potato affected by late blight fungus

The top 5 fungal diseases in UK potatoes

Potatoes are susceptible to a lot of fungal infections, threatening crop yields and profits. Understanding the causes and treatments of these diseases is crucial for growers. From environmental factors to effective control methods, this guide provides insights into combating fungal infections in potatoes, ensuring healthier crops and sustainable farming practices. In the UK, the top

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Growing organic crops in my field

Organic farming and certification in the UK

Organic farming in the UK is deeply rooted in sustainable practices, prioritising environmental health, biodiversity, and consumer well-being. Key to organic agriculture is adherence to stringent certification standards overseen by regulatory bodies like the Soil Association. Principles of organic farming Organic farming practices The certification process Role of the Soil Association: As the primary certifying

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a rabbit eaten swede plant

9 tips to protect young swede plants from rabbits

Rabbits can pose a significant threat to young swede plants, often munching on tender leaves and stems, jeopardising the success of your crop. However, with proactive measures, you can effectively deter rabbits and safeguard your swede patch. Here are practical strategies to combat rabbit damage: 1. Physical barriers Erect electric fencing around swede fields using

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A farm in middle England displaying a temperate climate

What is a temperate climate?

Temperate climates offer a balance that many find appealing: not too hot or cold, with distinct seasons that mark the passage of time. Understanding what defines a temperate climate and its characteristics is essential for appreciating the diversity of our planet’s ecosystems. Characteristics of temperate climates: Temperate climates are marked by moderate temperatures throughout the

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a bulk bag of biochar for farmland

Biochar in agriculture

Biochar is a special type of charcoal made by heating organic materials like wood chips or agricultural waste in a low-oxygen environment, a process called pyrolysis. Farmers use it to improve soil quality and enhance crop growth. In this article, we’ll explore how biochar works and its benefits for agriculture. Why use biochar? Biochar is

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skimmers and trashboards fitted to the plough

Choosing between adjustable skimmers and trashboards for your plough

The single purpose of ploughing is to bury everything under the soil – if after ploughing there are pieces of what used to be on the surface visible on top of the ploughed ground you have failed to plough properly. That statement is easier to say than achieve though, and trash-free seedbed preparation is essential

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barley growing in our field

Choosing the ideal sowing rate for barley

The ideal sowing rate for barley typically ranges between 100 to 200 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), depending on various factors such as soil type, climate, barley variety, and desired yield. In optimal conditions, a sowing rate of around 150 kg/ha is commonly recommended for most barley varieties. However, it’s essential to adjust the sowing rate

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our Track Marshall TM155

Exploring the Legacy of Track Marshall Tracked Tractors: Innovation, Popularity, and Decline

Track Marshall tracked tractors originated in the United Kingdom in 1948. They were invented by a British engineer named Arthur Marshall, who developed the concept of using tracks for agricultural tractors. Track Marshall produced a range of models over the years, including the TM70, TM100, TM125, and TM155. Each model had its own specifications and

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tilling soil to plant swedes

Soil Amendments to Improve Nutrient Retention in Farmland

Enhancing soil fertility and nutrient retention is an important aspect of sustainable agriculture. Incorporating soil amendments can replenish essential nutrients, improve soil structure, and promote healthy crop growth. I have listed 7 common soil amendments to improve nutrient retention, where farmers can obtain them, their recommended application rates, and their benefits. Using these soil amendments

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our midden full of decomposing farmyard manure

Why Farmyard Manure Needs Time To Decompose

Farmyard manure, a valuable resource for enriching soil fertility and enhancing crop productivity, needs 6 to 12 months to decompose before being spread on fields. The effect of composting farmyard manure (in other words allowing it to sit in a pile or midden) enables the breakdown of organic matter into nutrient-rich humus, offering numerous benefits

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swedes growing well in my field

Optimising Soil pH for Successful Swede Cultivation

Swedes, called rutabagas in America or turnips in the UK, are nutritious root vegetables prized for their taste and adaptability to various climates. Achieving the right soil pH is important for successful swede cultivation. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of soil pH for swede crops and methods for optimising pH levels in the

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swedes before bolting

When Do Swedes Bolt?

Swedes, commonly referred to as turnips in the UK, are versatile root vegetables prized for their sweet and earthy flavour profile. However, one of the challenges in swede cultivation is the occurrence of bolting, particularly during the spring months in the second year. This article delves into the intricate process of bolting in swedes, focusing

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My Newtec automatic potato packing machine

Transforming Crop Production: The Rise of Robotic Sorting, Grading and Packing Systems

In the dynamic landscape of agriculture, the integration of robotics has revolutionised traditional farming practices, particularly in the sorting, grading and packing of crops. Robotic systems have emerged as game-changers, offering unparalleled speed, precision, efficiency, and consistency in crop processing. Let’s explore how these innovative technologies are reshaping the future of crop production. Precision and

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Our 1530 Combine harvesting spring oats in September 2023

Combine Techniques and Adjustments For Harvesting Oats

Harvesting oats involves combining specific techniques and adjustments to achieve the best possible yield and quality. Oats, a widely consumed cereal grain valued for its adaptability and nutritional content, require careful attention to detail during harvesting. In this guide, we will examine the essential strategies for successful oat harvesting. From timing and equipment selection to

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my stanhay sower on the ferguson te20

Stanhay Sowers: Pioneering Precision in Agricultural Machinery

Step into the rich history of Stanhay Sowers, a cornerstone of agricultural innovation since 1921. Explore the humble beginnings, transformative innovations, and enduring commitment to excellence. 1920-1950: The Beginning Since its inception in 1921 in Ashford, Kent, Stanhay Sowers has been at the forefront of agricultural innovation. What began as a dealership for Ford tractors

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stanhay precision seed drill

Enhancing Agricultural Efficiency: A Guide to Precision Sowing Technologies

Precision sowing technologies have revolutionised modern agriculture by optimising seed placement, spacing, and depth with remarkable accuracy. These advancements ensure efficient resource utilisation, higher yields, and sustainable farming practices. Precision Seeders Utilising cutting-edge technology, precision seeders precisely place seeds at predetermined intervals and depths. Equipped with GPS guidance systems, they ensure uniform seed distribution across

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money growing crops

Navigating Cash Flow Management for Sustainable Farming

Cash flow management lies at the heart of a thriving farming operation, ensuring financial stability and sustainability in an ever-changing agricultural landscape. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into practical strategies and principles to help farmers effectively manage cash flow and overcome the financial challenges inherent in agricultural enterprises. Understanding Cash Flow in Farming: Cash

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clean machinery

Cleaning Machinery For Storage

Keeping farm machinery clean is crucial for its optimal performance and long lifespan. When muck, dirt, and debris accumulate on equipment surfaces, it can pose risks to both functionality and structural integrity. Preventing rust formation: Cleanliness plays a key role in preventing rust, which can develop when moisture and muck combine on machinery surfaces. Rust

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our flat bed trailer with potato boxes on it

Trailer Types Used in Crop Transportation

When it comes to transporting harvested crops, the type of trailer used plays a critical role in ensuring efficient delivery and preserving the quality of the produce. From potatoes to cereals and swedes, each crop has its specific transportation needs, often dictating the type of trailer employed in the process. In this guide, we explore

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crop sprayer controls and pressure gauge

Crop Sprayer Calibration and Adjustment: 8 points to remember

In modern agriculture, getting pesticide application right is crucial. That’s where sprayer calibration and adjustment come in. By fine-tuning sprayers, farmers can ensure they’re using pesticides accurately and without wasting any. This means calculating, testing, and tweaking things like nozzle type, pressure, and boom height. In this guide, we’ll break down the steps and tips

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our field of oats grown in 2023

Monitoring Oat Growth and Development

Monitoring oat growth is essential for achieving the best yields and quality in oat production. By understanding the key stages of oat growth and using effective monitoring practices, farmers can make timely decisions about managing their crops. Here’s a detailed guide to help you monitor the growth and development of oats effectively. Germination Stage: Seedling

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our David Brown 990 with front loader

The Story Of David Brown Tractors

David Brown tractors trace their origins back to the early 20th century in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. The company, founded by David Brown, initially specialised in gear and machinery manufacturing. However, in 1936, David Brown ventured into the production of tractors, marking the beginning of a new chapter in agricultural machinery. The first David Brown

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satellite image of fields

GIS in Agriculture: its Purpose and Applications

GIS, or Geographic Information System, is a powerful tool that has revolutionised the agricultural industry. It is a computer-based system that allows farmers to collect, store, analyse, and display data about their fields. This data can be used to make informed decisions about crop management, land use, and resource allocation. GIS technology has become an

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spacing between swedes

How Far Apart Should Swedes Be Sown?

Growing swedes for their roots requires careful attention to spacing to promote optimal root development and overall yield. Unlike stubble swedes, which are primarily cultivated for their leaves for animal feed, swedes grown for their roots necessitate specific spacing considerations to ensure healthy growth. Here’s a checklist on how to determine the ideal spacing for

How Far Apart Should Swedes Be Sown? Read More »

our field of winter wheat at tillering stage

Understanding the Growing Stages of Wheat

Wheat, a vital crop in fields across the globe, undergoes a remarkable journey from seed to harvest. Understanding how wheat grows is essential for farmers to nurture healthy crops and ensure a fruitful harvest. In this guide, we’ll explore the straightforward yet fascinating stages of wheat growth, shedding light on the key milestones that drive

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tilling the soil to grow swedes to feed animals

Embracing Sustainable Agriculture for a Brighter Future

In the ever-evolving landscape of agriculture, sustainable farming emerges as a beacon of hope for a better future. It embodies a balanced approach that addresses the needs of today while safeguarding the needs of tomorrow. This article delves into the essence of sustainable agriculture and its potential to transform our farms, communities, and environment. The

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my Hardi sprayer

Ensuring Safe Chemical Pesticide Application in Potato Farming

In the world of potato farming, chemical pesticides stand as vital tools in the battle against pests that threaten crop health and yield. However, with this reliance comes the critical need for safe and responsible pesticide application practices. This article aims to explore the essential safety considerations for potato farmers engaged in chemical pesticide spraying.

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oats germinating in a field

Soil Testing and Analysis Methods

Soil testing and analysis serve as fundamental practices in agriculture and environmental management, offering insights into soil health, fertility, and productivity. By employing various methods, farmers, gardeners, and land managers can make informed decisions about crop selection, fertilisation, irrigation, and soil conservation strategies. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of soil testing and

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Our Fiat 780 4wd and 90-90 2wd tractors

The History of Fiat Tractors: Key Years and Models

Fiat Trattori, an Italian manufacturer of tractors, has a rich history that spans over a century. The company began producing tractors in 1918 with its first model, the Fiat 702, which had 30 horsepower. From there, Fiat Trattori continued to innovate and expand its product line, producing tractors of varying sizes and capabilities. Over the

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a no till drill

What Are The Benefits Of No-Till Farming?

No-till farming, a sustainable agricultural practice, revolutionises traditional farming methods by minimising soil disturbance. This article delves into the many benefits of no-till farming, explaining its positive impact on soil health, water retention, pest management, crop yields, and environmental sustainability. Conservation of Soil Health No-till farming significantly reduces soil erosion, preserving its structure and organic

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laptop in a field

Farm Management Software Explained

Amidst sprawling fields and under vast skies, a quiet revolution is taking root in agriculture. Gone are the days of relying solely on intuition and manual labour; enter farm management software, the digital companion changing the game for farmers worldwide. From desktops to smartphones, this innovative tool empowers farmers with insights, efficiency, and control like

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Mc Hale F550 and New Holland T6090 tractor baling in a field

The Use Of Balers in Farming: History and Operation

Baling hay and straw has been an essential part of farming for centuries. It allows farmers to store and transport large amounts of feed for their livestock, especially during the winter months. The history of balers in farming is a long and interesting one, with many innovations and improvements over the years. Early balers were

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a soil sample

The Importance Of Soil Testing In Agriculture

Before sowing crops, it is important to conduct a soil test to ensure optimal growth and yield. Soil testing provides invaluable insights into the soil’s composition, fertility, and health, allowing farmers to make informed decisions and implement targeted soil management strategies such as pH adjustment and fertiliser requirements. Optimising Nutrient Levels Soil testing helps farmers

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creating beds for growing swedes in the field

Optimising Soil Health for Potato and Swede Cultivation

Soil health is paramount in ensuring successful potato and swede cultivation. A balanced and nutrient-rich soil provides the foundation for robust crop growth and high yields. Understanding soil composition and implementing effective management practices are essential for sustainable agriculture. Understanding Soil Composition Various soil types provide distinct advantages for cultivating potatoes and swedes. For instance,

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a large scale compost grinder machine

Agricultural-Scale Composting: From Production to Field Application

Composting stands as a cornerstone of sustainable agriculture, offering a myriad of benefits to soil health, fertility, and crop productivity. At the heart of agricultural operations, composting represents a vital practice although it is embraced by a select few farmers worldwide. This article delves into the intricate process of producing and spreading compost at an

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rhynchosporium in barley

Rhynchosporium: An Introduction for New Cereal Growers

In the intricate world of cereal production, the threat of diseases looms large, posing significant challenges to crop health and productivity. Among the myriad of diseases that afflict cereal crops, Rhynchosporium stands out as a formidable adversary, capable of wreaking havoc on fields and diminishing yields if left unchecked. In this article, we delve into

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A field of our winter wheat a few weeks after sowing

How to Choose Between Sowing Spring or Winter Barley: points to consider

When it comes to choosing between sowing spring or winter barley, there are several factors to consider. Both types of barley have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and the decision ultimately comes down to your weather and soil conditions. One of the main differences between spring and winter barley is their growing season. Winter

How to Choose Between Sowing Spring or Winter Barley: points to consider Read More »

a self propelled swede harvester

Swede Crop Harvesting: From Traditional Methods to Modern Machinery

Swede crops, known for their versatility and nutritional value, are a staple in agriculture across various regions. Harvesting swedes efficiently is crucial for maintaining crop quality and maximizing yields. In this article, we explore the different methods of swede crop harvesting, ranging from traditional manual techniques to modern mechanical solutions. Manual Harvesting Techniques Traditionally, swedes

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our workshop

Guidelines for Farm Machinery Maintenance

Farm machinery is an essential part of farming operations. Farmers rely on machinery to perform various tasks, from planting to harvesting. However, like any other equipment, farm machinery can break down, and when it does, it can cause significant disruptions to farming activities. This is why it is crucial to have farm machinery repair guidelines

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