Fieldwise LIVE brings national trials to your screens – Arable Farming

Hutchinsons’ Fieldwise LIVE initiative ensures growers are not missing out on the latest research ...

Expert advice and crop reports directly from the Regional Technology Centres (RTCs) around the country from Alnwick to Cornwall, the Helix farms in Northamptonshire and Suffolk, plus the Lincolnshire Brassica demonstration and the Fenland Potato site.

From now as the first reports come in, through the remainder of the season, Hutchinsons agronomists will be posting regular updates on the dedicated Fieldwise LIVE section of the Hutchinsons website.

Disease insight

While Septoria pressure has been generally low so far this spring, yellow rust has been a bigger issue in many areas ahead of the T2 flag leaf spray.

Agronomist Alice Cannon said the stand-out difference between varieties at the Grayingham site in Lincolnshire was in the levels of yellow rust seen in early May, while at Alnwick in Northumberland, Connor Campbell said the disease was the primary focus of earlier Growth Stage 30-32 (T1) sprays, which had worked well.

“Septoria pressure was low, just on the lower leaves, however at the site and in the surrounding area, we have seen yellow rust, in varieties rated 7, 8 and even 9. The T1 spray has done a good job though.”

In barley, Mr Campbell said the loss of chlorothalonil would mean big changes for ramularia control, as this was a very effective option. He will discuss alternative control strategies in more detail over coming weeks, while other Hutchinsons sites, such as Little Ponton in Lincolnshire and Sutton Bonnington, Nottinghamshire, are also examining other multisites to replace chlorothalonil, alongside a host of other agronomy trials.

In Cornwall, crops had been “pretty early” this season, with flag leaves emerged and ears just starting to appear in forward crops at the end of the first week in May, according to agronomist Amie Hunter, who said hybrid wheats were particularly advanced, with ears emerged.

Despite being in a generally higher pressure area for Septoria, many varieties looked relatively clean, although there was some disease on lower leaves of traditional favourite, JB Diego.

New approaches to yield optimisation

The Helix national development farm is a different concept and aims to develop new technologies and knowledge to facilitate better advice and ultimately increase efficiency, productivity and profitability for growers. This year, the regional Helix East demonstration farm is being launched in mid-Suffolk.

At the Helix site in Northamptonshire, dose response trials of different nitrogen, sulphur, phosphate and potassium products are being trialled in hybrid and conventional winter wheat.

Meanwhile, at Helix East in Suffolk, Hutchinsons trials and technical manager Bob Bulmer and crop nutrition specialist Rob Jewers are examining how to optimise yield in spring barley.

“The key to yield in spring barley is ear number, because it doesn’t have much capacity to set a lot of grains per ear,” Dr Bulmer says.

With that in mind, some plots were direct drilled with a Weaving GD in early April at a range of seed rates; 300, 400 and 500 seeds/m2, to see how this affects plant count, biomass development and final yield.

Further trials work is investigating ways to improve phosphate use efficiency, which is typically just 10% in spring barley, well below the 60% for nitrogen.

“We’re also looking at using soil bacteria to improve rooting and thereby increase phosphate uptake during establishment.”

Fieldwise LIVE video updates will showcase

Technologies such as the use of climate systems that can enhance planning of input applications.

NDVI imagery for better monitoring and variable rate inputs, plus ongoing development of Terramap – the remote soil mapping system.

Hybrid wheat development and the use of yield and cost of production mapping to improve field profitability are also amongst the many other projects.

Get involved with Fieldwise LIVE

Videos from Hutchinsons’ trials sites will be posted on the dedicated Fieldwise LIVE section of the revamped website at regular intervals throughout the remainder of this season.

Viewers can follow crop development and listen to the best advice on how to manage them, from our leading technical experts and agronomists.

There will also be regular updates on the Hutchinsons Twitter and Facebook pages.

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