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Crop Health Updates - October 2018

Soil health - why and how?

Interest in soil health is growing at all levels. It is a key area for policy with the UK government’s 25-year environment plan, launched earlier this year, indicating that future agricultural policy will focus on soil health and structure. Targets on soil health got further mention when the Agricultural Bill, was set out a few weeks ago. The testing of soils in relation to reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is also under consideration. The benefits of improving soil health by integrating the biology, physics and chemistry will pay dividends in maximising efficiency and yields whilst potentially reducing pollution, erosion, irrigation, fertiliser and tillage costs. Soil health can seem a complex business so what are the key features of a healthy soil, and the benefits of testing and how do you set about improving it?  Read more here.

A leaf showing extensive damage from light leaf spot, which can often be hard to differentiate from other forms of leaf damage

Oilseed rape disease management for this season

Light leaf spot is an ever present concern in Scottish oilseed rape crops and new findings on the disease’s biology, coupled with concerns over fungicide resistance and recent product losses have done nothing to clarify best practice advice for growers.  Read more here.

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