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  1. AAFarmer Hutchinsons in top 3We're pleased to announce that our article on the value of an integrated approach amid higher disease pressure was the second most-read story on Agronomist & Arable Farmer's website in July.

    The article focuses on the value of using a robust fungicide programme and selecting varieties with good resistance, sharing Helen Brown, Stewart MacIntyre and Bob Bulmer’s key insights from the Carlisle RTC event.

    Read the full article here.

  2. Dick_Neale0217Carefully targeting cultivations and selecting more competitive varieties will help wheat growers maximise cultural black-grass control this autumn.

    Trials at the Hutchinsons Mollington Regional Black-grass Centre, at CA & A Hall & Son's farm near Banbury, Oxfordshire, first reported in A&AF in June, are now showing there can be significant benefits to weed control from using well-timed, shallow cultivations and growing more competitive varieties.

    But as fields begin to be cleared this harvest, Hutchinsons Technical Manager Dick Neale urges growers to be patient with cultivations to maximise their benefits.

  3. IMG_0731With a focus on good soil health, herbicides, insecticides, biostimulants, fungicides, and nutrition, Hutchinsons’ second brassica demonstration day was held Old Leake, Boston, on July 11 in conjunction with the Allium & Brassica Centre.

    The aim of the plots is to refine understanding of soil health, including exploring novel approaches for vegetable farming, such as strip-till and cover crops, explained Hutchinsons area business manager Will Sharpe.

    “We plan to provide vegetable growers with a leading source of information on brassicas,” he said, pointing out that the trials field was very typical of the area, with similar soils being found around the horse-shoe area of south Lincolnshire and north Norfolk. “By setting up demonstration plots, people can see what works in these fields, and then make decisions on whether they might work at home for them.”

  4. Dick_Neale0217Unless you are one of a growing number of no-tillers or you plough every year, it is difficult to be prescriptive when it comes to post-harvest cultivation strategy.

    There is residue management to consider, the potential requirement of remedial work on soil structure, as well as trying to get the perfect seed-bed prepared for the next crop.

    However, with many farms grappling with problem weeds – particularly grassweeds – correct identification and understanding of the biology of each species is vital in order to adapt stubble management strategy to each situation.

  5. Fertiliser discussion with Ian LinghamAt this time of year thoughts inevitably turn to the purchase of nitrogen for next spring – as fertiliser is on offer to attract early delivery onto farm.

    Ian Lingham, Hutchinsons Crop Nutrition Specialist in the west, asks if purchasing straight nitrogen is the best value. 

    “From Hutchinsons involvement in YEN projects, we are learning that timely nutritional inputs are helping to achieve the best yielding crops,” he says.

    “However, applying greater quantities of straight nitrogen is not the solution to higher yields; trends show that applications of fresh fertiliser phosphate and spring applications of potash are part of the key to unlocking further potential.”

  6. Chris CooperThis month Chris Cooper and Rob Saunders, vine specialists in the Hutchinsons Horticultural Team, are making observations on the current status of the vine crop.

    Most vineyard owners and managers we see are very open to new ideas and motivated to take a “softer” approach to pest, disease and weed control. More growers are investing in cultivation machines to keep herbicide strips clear, using bio-film in establishing vineyards, and a plant-derived material as a contact weed control and to burn off the lower unwanted buds and investigating organic mulches and cover crops.

  7. David Bouch (2)Winter barley growers are spoilt for choice this autumn, with the largest range of varieties on the AHDB Recommended List for some years.

    Of the 24 varieties, there are a dozen two-rows, along with the largest range of hybrids ever recommended, with seven to choose from.

    Just four years ago, there was only one hybrid, Volume, on the list.

    For growers in the North, straw yield and earliness of maturity are as important as yield, while hybrids have proved popular in the East as farmers battle blackgrass.

    But what about the South...

  8. Darryl Shailes HLH. jpegIt has been an interesting and challenging spring and early summer, both in the fields and the garden.

    Despite the deluges of last week, the water isn't much higher than normal in the River Waveney and certainly not as high as it was in June 2016 when the Waveney Valley flooded, including the gardens at the Open Gardens event which, as I write this, is approaching rapidly.