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  1. Dave Ellerton Stem Extension FungicidesCereal crops could be at greater risk this autumn following the loss of seed treatment protection against aphids and heightened slug pressure.

    Growers need to be vigilant over coming weeks and integrate both cultural and chemical controls. This is according to Hutchinsons technical director, Dr David Ellerton, who says: “Wet weather across many parts of the UK this summer means slug pressure in early-sown cereals could well be higher than normal where soils are moist enough." 

  2. Helen BrownGood yields and poor weather sums up our harvest in Cumbria. Although we got off to a good start on the winter barley, thunder showers and wet ground conditions made the wheat and spring barley harvest trickier - with a significant proportion of crops battered down by the weather.

    The high-disease-pressure season was reflected in our trial site results, as the difference between fungicide-treated and untreated winter barley averaged 3.1t/ha, varying from 1.56 to 5.98t/ha between varieties.

  3. Jim Clark MaizeHutchinsons trials in Cumbria are showing how a low-cost way of undersowing maize with Italian ryegrass could have significant benefits for soil health.

    The trials at the firm’s Smalmstown Farm demonstration site near Carlisle, kindly hosted by Mr & Mrs R Fisher, aim to find a cost-effective way of preventing the potential issues that can arise when bare maize stubbles are left over winter.

  4. Darryl ShailesThe 2019 sugar beet harvest is underway, with three out of British Sugar’s four factories open for business. Bury St Edmunds and Newark were the first factories to open, on September 17, while Cantley will start receiving beet deliveries from October 1.

    Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar says this year crop is generally looking very positive, although some areas are suffering from the lack of rainfall.

  5. David Bouch of HutchinsonsWith a predicted 20% drop in the UK’s oilseed rape hectarage this autumn, many growers will be looking to spring barley to supplement their gross margins. David Bouch, Hutchinsons national seed manager gives his views on spring barley varieties.

    Spring barley will continue to be an attractive option for growers in 2020. Its competitive nature and prolific early growth is a key part of cultural control programmes enabling growers to help get on top of black-grass.

    However, the prolonged harvest will have impacted on the yield and quality of many barley seed crops, which may have a knock on effect on quality seed availability for next spring, he says.

  6. Bob BulmerCrop momentum involves adopting best practice at every stage of crop growth to maximise light, water and nutrient capture with the aim of producing resilient, profitable crops.

    This idea was developed from the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) and the idea is analogous to the domino effect, explains Hutchinsons trials manager Bob Bulmer.

  7. Nigel KitneyGiven that profit margins are tight and labour is in short supply, a “robot ready” orchard that yields almost twice as much Class I fruit and can be mechanically harvested would probably be a dream come true for the UK’s top fruit growers. Happily, crop production specialist Hutchinsons’ ground-breaking, ten-year project – named Hutchinsons’ Enhanced Light Interception Orchard System (Helios) – could help growers achieve this vision.

  8. Darryl ShailesWe have not got as many apples and plums as last year, but the pears are pretty good. The rain over summer has helped the wheat and barley harvests and also the fern growth on our asparagus which is much bigger than last season.

    As we've only got a small area, we're able to practice good crop hygiene and remove all the old fern and reduce the amount of inoculum on the old stems so our stem-phylium levels are very low.

  9. Terra Map - Soil OptixAgronomy firm Hutchinsons claims the technology at the centre of its new soil scanning system offers a greater level of precision than is possible with established techniques.

    When compared with traditional zone-based scanning or grid-based sample point systems, measurement of a wider range of soil quality properties and greater accuracy when measuring them are the key claims for new soil analysis technology introduced this season to the UK by agronomy company Hutchinsons.