www.agrii.co.uk @AgriiEast 01 Spring 2018 Contents MAP Harvest Data Report Page 1 News and events update from around the region: + Events report from winter 2017/18 + Focus on Stow Longa spring events programme + Environmental Training Days 2018 + Agrii Photo Competition: winners announced Page 2 What did we learn from the Agrii Fruit iFarm in 2017? Page 3 Good viticulture begins with the soil Page 3 Nutrition update Page 4 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) remain a risk Page 4 Seed update, including: + The ups and downs of spring cropping + An interest in spring oats? + How did the maize crop fare in 2017? Page 5 Local contact information Page 6 Dates for your diaries Page 6 Agrii and FCN working together in 2018 Page 6 Agrii Soil Health Audits Page 6 O ne of the driest winters in 20 years in 2016/2017 might seem a long time ago now in the wake of the storms that have marked the start of 2018. But at the time, as many of the country’s rivers fell to abnormally low levels, there were dire predictions about the impact this might have on our crops reaching their full potential. Did these headline- hitting predictions come to fruition? What impact did the extremes of dry and wet weather at harvest, have on yields and margin? Regional Technical Adviser, Tim Horton, has analysed the 2017 Agrii MAP Benchmarking Group harvest figures to find out. “The period of dry weather during the 2017 growing season, may have impacted many spring crop yields” explains Tim. “’But spring barley still maintained the third highest margin slot (figure 2) – despite the dry spring. And for OSR, the dry April delayed uptake of the main nitrogen dose, actually helping to achieve more efficient canopies and improving yields. In fact, 2017 WOSR yields were second only to 2015 yields, and with higher output prices and lower variable costs, produced the best margins of recent years (figure 2). “Winterwheat(40%)andwinter oilseedrape(20%)werethetwo largestcropsbyarea”continues Tim.“2017providedareturnto averageyields,andwithhigher outputprices,marginsimproved, withWOSRremainingthe mostprofitablebreakcrop-just maintainingthetopperformance spotoverwinterwheat.” So, what can we learn from our experiences this year to help us going forward? “Long-term climate and short-term weather modeling suggests that the type of extreme weather scenarios that we’ve experienced this year will only become more frequent in the future” states Tim. “Therefore, going forward our efforts should be on the things that we can control – ensuring that we have analysed and managed our variable costs and are doing everything that we can to mitigate the things that we can’t predict, like weather, and pests and diseases, by putting in place a truly robust, fully integrated growing system.” To get involved in the MAP Project, please contact Tim Horton on 07770 648945, tim. horton@agrii.co.uk or Rob Baker on 07831 430172, robert.baker@ agrii.co.uk. MAP Harvest Data from 2017 shows good margins despite unpredictable weather The MAP Group is a consolidation of farm Gross Margin data, based on measured yields and standardised output prices, applied according to crop quality. The aim of the database is to help farmers answer these questions: 1. Is my technical and financial performance above or below average? 2. What are the areas of strength and weakness within the enterprise? 3. Are my costs within the normal range for my system? 4. Are my yields above or below average for my choice of variety? 5. What are the top performers achieving and how are they doing it? What is the MAP Group Project? Figure 1: Rainfall September 2016 – August 2017 Figure 2: Average crop gross margins for the last three years from MAP Project data