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  1. Darryl Shailes v2Hutchinsons agronomist, Darryl Shailes, outlines the key areas of focus and consideration for growers as they plan their drilling & establishment strategies for the coming months.

    2019 was a good year for sugar beet overall. Yields were strong apart from the lightest of soils where the prolonged dry spell went on a bit too long, the June rain didn't last long enough and the crop didn't really have time to fully compensate when the longer period of wet weather eventually came in September.

  2. Alex wilcoxNorfolk grower Alex Wilcox grew a bumper 10t/ha-plus malting spring barley crop in 2019, using low seed rates and early drilling to achieve monster grain ears at harvest.

    His barley produced many more grains an ear than other high-yielding crops, resulting in his highest-ever spring barley yield last year. It also made the grade for the maltsters.

  3. Tim Kerr H&STim Kerr, fertiliser specialist for Hutchinsons turns his expertise to vines.

    The wet autumn will have impacted on crop nutrient availability into next spring. After excessive rainfall, lower levels of nitrogen will be seen. Soil mineral nitrogen can be measured to make necessary adjustments.

    Although nitrogen requirement by vines isn't high, it's a difficult element to hold in soils over winter, particularly soils with low cation exchange capacity. Light soils, which are low in clay and/or organic matter, have low resilience to hold nitrogen reserves, even with additional nitrogen from decaying vine leaves.

  4. Oxbury LogoLending to farmers from merchants is set to undergo a major shake-up, with a new agricultural bank being lined up by big businesses to offer an alternative to trade credit.

    Four seed, spray and feed distributors have thrown their support behind a new farmer-focused bank, Oxbury, which is set to receive its license to operate from the Bank of England in the next few weeks.

  5. Nick Strelczuk precision technology specialist for HutchinsonsNick Strelczuk, precision technology specialist with Hutchinsons, highlights the importance of understanding soil variability in all crops, including arable crops and top fruit.

    He explains that TerraMap is a new, highly accurate soil mapping service offered at two levels of service – standard and premium. It uses gamma-ray detection technology to measure 21 important soil parameters at a resolution of 800 points per hectare, much more accurately than anything else available.

  6. David SteadAs torrential rains impacts heavily on the industry, John Swire looks at the overall economic effects and how farmers have been forced to change their practices and diversify their crops to salvage their livelihoods.

    Apart from all the political shenanigans and the subsequent ramifications that will play out for several more years, 2019 will be remembered for one other thing – the absolute horrendous weather that we have suffered from since the middle of September. The effects on the industry are almost certainly likely to last for quite some time.