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  1. Andrew GoodinsonPotato desiccation requires a strategic rethink following the removal of diquat from growers chemical portfolio in February 2020. Hutchinsons agronomist Andrew Goodinson says decisions need to be taken now in order to plan how crops will be managed next year in terms of haulm management and destruction.

    He says that several considerations will come into play as a result of these changes, including varietal selection, nitrogen rates, herbicide choice and headland management.

  2. Andrew CromiePotato growers will have to start planning future desiccation strategies before the next season's crop is even sown.

    Trials at the Hutchinsons’ Fenland demonstration site near Mildenhall in Suffolk this autumn have illustrated how the loss of diquat is likely to increase desiccation costs and put more focus on other ways to help manage canopies towards the end of the season.

    Variety choice and fertiliser strategy will be two key elements to consider, alongside the alternative chemical desiccants and mechanical flailing. 

  3. Maize Demo Day Jim ClarkFast establishing, early maturing maize varieties are essential for growers in high rainfall areas who want to avoid the environmental risks of a late harvest.

    In areas of high rainfall, combining an early maturing maize variety with growing under film is a sure-fire way to maximise yields and get the crop off early before the risk of wet weather.

  4. Alex wilcoxThe first-ever spring barley Yen award was won by Alex Wilcox from Norfolk with a yield of 10.7t/ha. He also took the title for best percentage of potential yield, with 72% of 14.9t/ha.

    His crop of Laureate was drilled on 15 January at a seed rate of 350kg/ha and received 110kg/ha of nitrogen in two splits, two fungicides and one plant growth regulator. Manganese and boron were also applied.

  5. Nick Strelczuk precision technology specialist for HutchinsonsThis year's wet conditions have meant many growers have not been able to complete their autumn drilling, so will have to look at spring cropping options once soils begin to dry.

    According to Nick Strelczuk, precision technology specialist for Hutchinsons, farmers can be assisted by current and new developments in precision technology such as Omnia and TerraMap to maximise the returns from spring cropping and be as efficient as possible in the circumstances.

  6. Stuart_Hill0217On Wednesday 13 November the South of England Agricultural Society hosted its annual Farming Conference at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex.

    Bringing together over 250 farmers, landowners, agriculturalists, and industry representatives from across the South of England, the topic of this year’s debate was titled ‘From Uncertainty to Opportunity’, with conversation centred around considering whether, Brexit or otherwise, the industry has a positive future.

  7. Oliver WoodA machine's ability to work with data could become one of the main factors driving purchasing decisions.

    That is the view of Oliver Wood, precision technology manager for Omnia Precision Agronomy.

    Speaking at the Institution of Agricultural Engineers' 'Landwards' conference in Peterborough, he said farmers used to choose machines based on aspects like size, speed and power.

    He thinks that might change: "In the future they could choose their machines according to which machine can create the best and most useable data."

  8. Matthew HyslopWith the recent challenging wet weather in many areas of the country, farmers should consider what can be done to make their soils more resilient for the years ahead, says Matthew Hyslop, Hutchinsons agronomist, based in Angus and Perthshire.

    Rainfall in the central Angus area for the months August, September and October totalled 283mm whereas in 2018 for the same period totalled 122mm, and with wet conditions, growers are facing problems with establishing winter cereals and potato harvesting.

  9. Helen BrownThe recent cold weather and Christmas music on the radio is a heavy reminder that winter is here, and our chances for autumn-drilled crops in Cumbria have pretty much finished, leaving our acreage well below what was planned.

    On the positive side, most of our drilled cereals have received an autumn herbicide which is important for annual meadow grass management, and insecticides have been applied where necessary. Also, the recent cold nights have significantly slowed down aphid activity.

  10. ConnectOne of the main sticking points with precision farming has always been moving data from one system or machine to another one.

    However, with the Omnia Precision Agronomy system this is now easier than ever before!

    Visit Hutchinsons at LAMMA to hear how exciting collaborations with leading machinery and data management systems such as Claas, Väderstad and Muddy Boots, has resulted in much improved streamlined data connection.