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Arable Farming magazine's October 2019 digital edition

Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.

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A Word from the Editor

At the time of writing the Agriculture Bill has been rescued from oblivion, although this might yet prove to be a temporary state of affairs. In Westminster the political storm continues to rage around the prorogation of Parliament on September 9 and the Supreme Court’s subsequent ruling that it was ‘unlawful, null and of no effect’. We are in unknown territory but for the time being the months of lobbying, scrutiny and occasional scuffles have not been in vain.

Meanwhile, on-farm, the new season is getting underway. Rain finally arrived in the South and East, and soil conditions are the better for it. Stubbles have greened up, improving prospects for weed control, and those of you lifting root crops will no doubt have found the going easier.

Cabbage stem flea beetle has been an unwelcome presence for yet another season and sadly, once again, there will be significant crop losses as a result of its activity. This month we welcome two new Talking Agronomy contributors to Arable Farming, and it comes as no surprise to read of the challenges they and their growers are facing with oilseed rape establishment.

While improvement in the OSR price may have persuaded some to stick with the crop for harvest 2020, sugar beet growers could well take a different view as they consider their options for the new season. With a one-year sugar beet contract price on offer of £19.60/tonne with no crown tare reduction, cost of production figures are no doubt being scrutinised carefully before a decision to grow is made. Advisers are already warning of the risk of loss-making crops.

There may be no such thing as the perfect break crop, but developing markets resulting from changing diets and plant breeding advances could provide new opportunities. Find out more in our focus on pulse crops feature in this issue.

And, with harvest done, we take a look at farm storage, from the challenges of relocating and redesigning grain storage, to putting one of the most expensive pieces of machinery on-farm – the combine – safely to bed for the winter (see p46). We have also got some expert advice on best practice management for farm agchem stores.

Also in this issue, we have news of the launch of the first UK winter wheat variety with BYDV resistance, plus a look at the recently announced CropTec Show seminar programme; in my view it is one of the strongest yet.

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