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    May 3, 2018


    Written by Tom Allen-Stevens

    A new conventional oilseed rape variety showing barn-filling yield potential has enjoyed a strong uptake by growers in its first commercial year, despite failing to make it onto the 2018/19 AHDB Recommended List. Django was sown across 20,000ha for the 2008 harvest – around 4% of the UK certified OSR seed area – reports KWS. The variety is up for consideration for RL status again this year. Django’s performance in National List trials showed the new variety offers good yield and stem stiffness, which is what KWS attributes to its relatively high uptake. “[This is] a rare achievement for a variety still to receive recommendation,” says the breeder. Django is a conventional OSR variety. It beat all other varieties in the 2017 RL trial, including hybrids and other conventional types, with a UK-wide average yield of 106% of controls. “Its yield potential will be what captured growers’ attention, but it is its easy-to-manage versatility on farm that will truly endear it to growers,” says KWS. With a stem stiffness score of 9, it is the shortest non-semi dwarf variety in trials. This suggests seed rates can be manipulated at sowing to reflect seedbed conditions and pest pressures without fear of…
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    May 3, 2018


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    When an Oxon estate came to renew its combine, there was no hesitation over staying loyal to New Holland. CPM went to find out how the new CR 9.90 rotary machine has performed so far. The larger grain tank is a noticeable improvement. By David Jones The public face of the Wills Estate for many living in its environs or passing through it involves racehorses. Lots of them. Some being exercised on the gallops, others grazing in paddocks. The estate, which straddles the Northants/Oxon border north of Banbury, is home to four established racing stables that between them have the careers of around 200 of the elegant creatures in their hands. Beyond these lies the farming business – close to 900ha of arable land run for the past 10 years by estate manager Hamish Gairdner. New Holland is staking a claim for highest output ever for its new CR combines. Last year, the estate renewed its combine. “We were running a NH 9080 on tracks, with a 9.1m vari-feed header,” he explains. “Prior to that, we’d had another 9080, but on tyres, again with a 9.1m header. “We try to change the combine after three seasons, but we buy…
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    May 3, 2018


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    Septoria’s latent phase is infuriatingly hard to predict or detect, but a better understanding of this unseen threat can bring far greater precision to fungicide programmes. CPM gains an insight. Septoria does a lot of burrowing and damage internally before any symptoms start to show. By Tom Allen-Stevens Right now, there’s a cancer in your crop. You can’t see it but it’s there – pervading the plant tissue, sucking the life out of its cells, and crucifying its potential – silently, invisibly, mercilessly. It sounds like a trailer for a B-rate horror movie, or at least a rather clumsy ploy by a pesticide manufacturer to persuade you to apply fungicide to an apparently clean crop. But it’s actually a reasonably accurate description of what Septoria tritici does during its latent phase, according to BASF’s Ben Freer. “Just because you can’t see the disease, it doesn’t mean it’s not there,” he says. “Growers think they have a happy, healthy crop, but we know that septoria does a lot of burrowing and damage internally before any symptoms start to show.” As much as 90% of leaves taken last spring from apparently disease-free, treated wheat crops were infected with septoria. The extent…
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    New technology from French sprayer maker Berthoud is claimed to reduce the requirement for nozzle changes. CPM visited the firm’s factory to find out more about this and other tech developments. What we wanted to achieve was a method of not only increasing the working range of the sprayer, but also the consistency of spray quality. By Martin Rickatson Nozzle-changing might not be the most time-consuming, complicated or costly activity in terms of machinery tasks, but for many sprayer operators on large-scale arable enterprises, making many passes with wide-boom machines across big acreages and multiple crops, it’s unlikely to be high up on a list of favourite farm jobs. Changes in crop type and stage, wind speed and weather windows can all require quick nozzle changes in order to ensure critical crop growth stage timings aren’t missed, and crops receive the required coverage and dose. Developments in manually or remotely adjustable multi-nozzle bodies may have alleviated some of the monotony and hassle of the task of adapting to changing conditions before a spraying task begins. But they can’t do so once the machine is on the move. The result is an inflexible system that means neither speed nor rate…
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    Expect to see quite a few changes at Cereals this year, with no AHDB Recommended List plot tours, but other features introduced to showcase what’s new in the industry. CPM scans the highlights. We want a visit to Cereals to be inspiring from start to finish. By Charlotte Cunningham Cereals 2018 is all about change. From the structure of the event itself to preparing businesses for changes ahead of Brexit, there’s an abundance of new features and advice at this year’s event, say organiser Comexposium. Driving the change is feedback from the farmer and exhibitor advisory boards which were formed at the end of last year. Cambs farmer, Ralph Parker, has been attending the event for over 20 years and says getting growers involved is a very sensible option. “It’s essential that farmers have an input because the show is for them. The better the show is, the better it is for farmers.” Among the changes being introduced at this year’s event is a revamp of the Arable Conference. This year it’ll be taking a new form – splitting into two seminar areas: Cereals Controversial and Cereals Conversations. Cereals Controversial and Cereals Conversations takes the place of the Arable…
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    KWS Jackal, the highest yielding of the soft Group 4 wheats, is still finding its feet in the market, so where does it fit in the field? CPM reports. If there’s a grower who’s made a bit of a premium on older soft Group 4s, this seems an obvious change to make. By Melanie Jenkins The soft Group 4 category is the second largest of the wheat groups on the AHDB Recommended List, so growers have a number of options when it comes to selection. New on the RL, KWS Jackal now leads that line-up – not only that but it looks favourable on yield against many of the hard Group 4s. This yield will interest people, says John Miles at KWS. “Another key thing is that it’s a useful tool for farmers who are trying to get a lot done quickly with its extended drilling window.” KWS Jackal is a cross of Santiago and KWS W177, says Mark Dodds at KWS. “The idea of the cross was to increase yield, improve on the septoria score and specific weight of Santiago. With KWS Jackal we’ve done all of that.” With its Santiago parentage, one would hope to produce consistency…
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    Written by Jane

    The recent high temperatures across the UK caused large scale pollen beetle migrations and the majority of crops are now in flower. This season the crop has stayed one step ahead of the migration and a spray was unlikely to be required. However, with optimum conditions for pollen beetle migration in the south east and good conditions elsewhere, backwards crops not yet in flower will still be at risk of pollen beetle damage. Rothamsted researcher Sam Cook, says this season has been unusual for pollen beetle, but growers should remain vigilant and continue to monitor migration in their area using the Bayer pollen beetle predictor, until crops are in flower. “With most of the country coming into flower the ‘worst is over’ for many growers, unless they have any backwards crops not yet flowering. The quick blast of heat induced large migrations, so rather than a gradual build-up of pollen beetle numbers, movement into the crop occurred over a very short period. “We are now seeing significant numbers of parasitic wasps, a natural predator of pollen beetle larvae, moving into the crop, which will help manage populations in the longer term, so it is really important to only use a…
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    Commission assaults rural development spending to protect direct payments

    Written by Alan Matthews

    The Commission’s MFF proposal (including both ceilings for expenditure as well as ideas on how to finance the budget) was published yesterday. The Commission claims that the proposal includes reductions of roughly 5% in both the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy programmes, as they have the largest financial envelopes. However, another way of looking at the numbers suggests that the cut is more like 15% overall in real terms over the period of the next MFF, but with a much bigger cut in Pillar 2 rural development expenditure of around 26%. Direct payments will be maintained constant in nominal terms. In this post, I set out the analysis behind these figures.

    Budget Commissioner Oettinger had been indicating for some time before the publication of the MFF proposals that the CAP budget would be cut by around 6%. But without specifying the units or the time period in greater detail, this is almost a meaningless figure. Is the 6% cut in real or nominal terms? Does it represent the difference between the CAP budget in 2027 and its budget in 2020, or the difference between the resources made...
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    May 2, 2018
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    Written by Jane

    Soya plants growing Picture Tim Scrivener 07850 303986 ….Covering agriculture in the UK…. CPM finds out why controlling pests and diseases in soya beans will now be much easier with the approval of two new extension of authorisation for minor use (EAMU) registrations; lambdastar for controlling bean iseed fly and azoxystar for the control of sclerotinia. Lambdastar contains 100g lambda-cyhalothrin and the extension of authorisation relates to the use on soya bean for the control of delia platura. Azoxystar contains 250g azoxystrobin and the extension of authorisation relates to the use on soya bean for the control of sclerotinia. This is really exciting news as currently we do not have any approved products for the control of bean seed, delia fly or dclerotinia in soya beans, says David McNaughton, managing director of Soya UK. “Soya is a crop that is steadily increasing in its appeal to UK growers, just since 2016 the area grown has gone up from just over 300ha to 3200ha being sown in spring 2018 – and this is because soya has consistently demonstrated that is a profitable spring break crop, with prices currently sitting around £375/t.” “Soya can be drilled anytime from the 25 April to…
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    May 2, 2018
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    Written by Jane

    CPM find out more about a new herbicide for use in potatoes and how it has impressed in trials giving good control of a broad range of weeds. The new herbicide which Bayer is hoping to introduce for the start of the 2019 season, approval permitting, currently carries the development code SP01664 and is in demonstration trials around the country. Containing the active substance aclonifen, it is applied at the pre-emergence stage and offers good crop safety with no variety or soil restrictions. Bayer campaign manager for roots Edward Hagues says growers, who are facing fewer weed control options since the withdrawal of linuron, will welcome aclonifen. “It is a diphenyl ether, a bleaching compound, that is taken up by the hypocotyl, cotyledons and coleoptile and then translocated to the meristems causing bleaching and chlorosis of young shoot tissue as it develops.” “It has a broad spectrum of activity with good control of small nettle, brassica weeds, chenopodium weeds such as fat-hen and orache and a range of polygonum species with a useful contribution to the control of mayweed and grass weeds (from seed).” SP01664 was in trials in Scotland and the east of England during 2017 to assess its…
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