Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.
Are you chasing that final tonne with a high input system? Or have you come to the conclusion a reduced input/reduced output approach is the way to lower costs? Both schools of thought are stimulating debate at the moment and both have their fervent supporters. Of course neither is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, so much depends on location and the weather, but it is interesting to follow the discussions. There is a third way of course, one that takes a more thoughtful and considered approach, seeking to align inputs with actual yields and I would bet this is where most growers will see the way forward. To my mind, what underpins progress in all three approaches is new technology and finding ways to integrate it easily and effectively into everyday practice on-farm, whether for informing decision-making or providing solutions to technical challenges. In this issue we’ve several examples of how that is being achieved, from a young farmer in North Yorkshire who is successfully growing the family business with a combination of tech and business savvy, to a large-scale Essex-based contract farming enterprise intent on making the most of its investment in machinery. We’ve also news of the launch by one of our leading distributor/crop production businesses of a major new project designed to help growers and agronomists navigate their way through the plethora of agritech developments happening right now.
The Helix project will be hosted on a commercial Northamptonshire farm by a grower who describes himself as ‘incurably curious’. I for one am looking forward to following its progress. With decisions on the re-approval of several key crop protection actives due in 2019, it seemed an appropriate time to review what has been lost from the toolkit and what soon might be. Catch up with the latest developments around chlorothalonil, chlorpropham (CIPC) and desmedipham among others in our special feature. And with the spring spraying season upon us it is the perfect time to review sprayer developments. Don’t miss our report from the national sprayer demo, held recently in Oxfordshire. At the time of writing the NFU conference is underway and Defra Secretary Michael Gove is reported to have said Britain will impose tariffs and quotas on agricultural products to protect farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit. A range of livestock products were mentioned, but not so grains, vegetables, fruit or flowers. The next issue of Arable Farming