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Crop Health Updates - December 2021

Fertiliser prices – strategies to maximise your return on investment

There has been a 250% increase in wholesale gas prices over the last 12 months. This hike in energy costs is one of the factors contributing to the increased cost of urea, consequently fertiliser prices are at their highest for the last 5 years and it is unlikely we have seen the peak.


Crop Trial Results from 2021

Low disease levels at the start of the 2021 season converted to much higher levels by the end of the season, although there were still plenty of situations where lower input approaches to crops could be justified. Learning the lessons from the 2021 trial season and picking out the lessons for 2022 will be core to the information presented at FAS / AHDB / SRUC January agronomy workshops.

This season, winter crops were drilled in good conditions and are generally looking well – and often looking pretty forward. Oilseed rape is already at welly-boot height at the SRUC’s Boghall site, with traces of light leaf spot present after incubation.  Read more >>

Spring Barley Varieties for 2022

The spring barley list was consolidated considerably in 2021 with the main malting choices being Laureate and LG Diablo, both dual-purpose distilling and brewing varieties, and KWS Sassy, a distilling variety. Laurette maintained its market share last year and LG Diablo increased slightly.  Read More >>

2021 Scottish Potato Crop Inspections and Statistics

Potatoes are a vegetatively propagated crop, and the health status of Scottish seed potatoes is a strategic priority. SASA, the authority responsible for safeguarding the health of Scottish Seed potatoes carries out growing crop inspections for all certified seed. A summary of the 2021 growing crop inspections has recently been released highlighting the high health status of Scottish potatoes, but also bringing timely reminders of threats that need proper management. Read More >>

Evaluating Soil Quality and Testing for Soil Health Status

At grass roots level SAC consultants are noting a growing interest in soil health from farmers and increasing numbers of questions about what SRUC can offer. Soil health is not just about having a good biological system (lots of worms, ample beneficial microbes to keep the pathogens in check) there are also physical and chemical aspects, and to have soil in ‘good heart’ you need the biology (biodiversity), physics (structure) and chemistry (pH and nutrients) in balance. Read More >>

Phosphorus Management and the Relationship Between Differing Soils Capacity to Regulate P Availability for Plant Uptake in Scotland

A novel soil specific approach to P management has allowed better use of soil reserves to reduce P fertiliser by using differing soils capacity to regulate P availability for plant uptake and improve sustainability of food production. The approach is novel as it is the first to make use of high-resolution spatial data directly in nutrient use recommendations.  Read More >>

Potato Seed Treatments

The 2021 potato seed crop has been in store for several months, but with some stocks being graded for export it’s timely to review management options for seed treatments.
It is important to take an integrated approach to crop management and to assess each stock on a case-by-case basis. Read More >>

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