Soil at P.X. Farms

What’s been going on in the agricultural industry? 13 – 27 March 2023

We’re starting to pull together regular blog posts to showcase a handpicked collection of industry articles – all free to read. Let’s find out what’s been going on the past couple of weeks.

Farmer’s Weekly shares guidance on how to keep wheat disease under control now that the prices of fungicides are rapidly soaring. With uncertainties about the Black Sea corridor renewal for exports from Ukraine, UK wheat prices are taking the fall. In addition, the Lincolnshire Farming Conference is returning in 2023. Meanwhile, new technologies could pave the future of the British farming industry.

Advice on controlling wheat disease as fungicide prices rise

With the cost of fungicides rising, how can farmers control wheat disease? Farmer’s Weekly shares guidance on controlling wheat disease, including making strategic decisions on spending on fungicides.

https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/crop-management/disease-management/tips-to-help-control-wheat-disease-as-fungicide-prices-rise

Simple vehicle safety steps to protect your farm and future

A staggering number of deaths happen each year in the agriculture industry. Keep yourselves safe with this article from Farmer’s Weekly.

https://www.fwi.co.uk/business/simple-vehicle-safety-steps-to-protect-your-farm-and-future

Fickle UK wheat prices bear the brunt of volatile global markets

There has been increasing pressure on wheat prices in the UK. With the global grain market in a volatile state due to the uncertainties about the Black Sea corridor renewal for exports from Ukraine, unfortunately, the UK’s wheat prices have paid the price. Farmer’s Weekly shares more.

https://www.fwi.co.uk/business/markets-and-trends/crop-prices/fickle-uk-wheat-prices-bear-the-brunt-of-volatile-global-markets

BPS 2023 now open for applications in England

Applications are now open for farmers in England for the Basic Payment Scheme this year. The application window is from Tuesday, 14 March, until Monday, 15 May.

https://www.fwi.co.uk/business/payments-schemes/bps/bps-2023-now-open-for-applications-in-england

“Some welcome news, some missed opportunities” in the spring budget for farming

The spring budget was announced by Chancellor Hunt on 15 March 2023. Many are happy to see extensions on the energy price guarantee, though some are concerned about how little action has been taken on frozen tax thresholds and green incentives. Farmers Guide shares more.

https://www.farmersguide.co.uk/some-welcome-measures-some-missed-opportunities-in-spring-budget-for-farming/

NIAB research helps growers prioritise grass weed control

Research has drawn attention to the importance for farmers to target grass weeds in their crops now rather than waiting until later in the season. The same research highlights the Axial Pro’s role in controlling grass weeds at the start of the growing process.

https://www.farmersguide.co.uk/niab-research-helps-growers-prioritise-grass-weed-control/

Lincolnshire Farming Conference returns with ‘Healthy soils, Healthy minds’ theme

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lincolnshire Farming Conference is coming back. This year’s theme centres around a key theme, ‘healthy soils, healthy minds.’ The theme is designed to illustrate how healthy soil and healthy minds are compatible, drawing attention to the fact that soil health issues are likely having a massive effect on farmers. Farmers Guide shares more.

https://www.farmersguide.co.uk/lincolnshire-farming-conference-returns-with-healthy-soils-healthy-minds-theme/

Scientists discover novel gene in hope for bolstered food security

How can crops use energy more effectively? Scientists have found that there may be a crucial gene in crops that help them to be more efficient in their energy usage. This information could be a massive contributor to global food security in the future. Farming UK shares more.

https://www.farminguk.com/news/scientists-discover-novel-gene-in-hope-for-bolstered-food-security_62270.html

20 – 27 March 2023

Benefits of undersowing maise for soil, water and grazing

What are the best conditions for growing maise? Tom Kimber of Higher Stavordale Farm shares the advantages of undersowing maise.

https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/maize/benefits-of-undersowing-maize-for-soil-water-and-grazing

Gene-edited crops move closer after bill gains royal assent

We may see more gene-edited food crops grown and developed on farms in the UK. Parliament has recently released a bill to encourage more gene-edited crops to be developed. However, similar bills are yet to be approved in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/gene-edited-crops-moves-closer-after-bill-gains-royal-assent

Vertical farming business wins funding for large London site

Could vertical farming be a common occurrence in the future? Harvest London, a company specialising in vertical farming, has recently received funding to set up a 140,000 square feet site in South London. Farmer’s Weekly shares more.

https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/vertical-farming-business-wins-funding-for-large-london-site

Trials to investigate sulphur-based fungicide programmes

Sulphur-based fungicide programmes are demonstrating that these kinds of fungicides may be ideal for farmers. Trials have shown that these fungicides work well against mildew and come with a range of other benefits. Farmer’s Guardian shares more.

https://www.fginsight.com/news/trials-to-investigate-sulphur-based-fungicide-programmes-134422

Innovative farming technologies awarded £9.13 million in funding

AI and robotics could make a major difference to the farming industry, with three innovative new projects surrounding automation and robotics receiving funding.

https://www.farmersguide.co.uk/innovative-farming-technologies-awarded-9-13-million-in-funding/

Entries are now open for the 2023 British Farming Awards

Could you be the winner of an award in this year’s British Farming Awards? Applications are now open for farmers throughout the UK.

https://www.farminguk.com/news/entries-now-open-for-2023-british-farming-awards_62279.html

How are you handling the recent changes to the farming industry in the UK?

Stay in the know with the top arable news with our post next week. For now, how about exploring our other content.

Winter barley harvest kicks off two weeks later than usual

Discover what our Managing Director, James Peck says about winter barley harvest this year with Emma from Farmers Weekly:

For James Peck of P.X. Farms based in Cambridgeshire, winter barley harvest usually starts during the first couple days in July, but this year’s slow-growing season meant he began cutting a good two weeks later than usual on July 16.

After a challenging season struggling to get cereals crops drilled into such wet autumn conditions, combined with the physical strains of lockdown, Mr Peck is relieved to see harvest now underway.

With 485ha of winter barley in the ground, crops are yielding well at 8.8t/ha, with moisture contents below 15% and a slightly lower specific weight of 61-62kg/hl.

Long view of combine and strip of harvested field

Currently, four combines are in operation and rather than using a traditional tractor and trailer, Mr Peck uses chaser bins and loading lorries equipped with 30t custom-built trailers to transport grain. This helps improve the efficiency of loading times and ensures the combines are not waiting to unload.

The variety Belfry makes up the majority of Mr Peck’s winter barley area this season, due to its good lodging resistance. After a significant area of the variety Bazooka fell flat the last harvest, only a small proportion of this was planted, with the remainder planted to Belfry.

All straw will be baled and has been pre-sold to either a local power station or beef farm, while the grain is sold to ADM.

“Next, we will have 20ha of oilseed rape to harvest, and we are planning to put more area to this next season if conditions allow. Meanwhile, winter wheat crops are still looking as green as grass, so it will be a little while yet before we think about harvesting them.”

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