SOYL Newsletter July 2015

1. Analyse soils to produce a profitable crop 

Harvest is now well underway and though it's an extremely busy time in the season, it's important for growers to be thinking ahead at all times. As soon as the land is cleared after harvest, soil analysis can begin ready for variable rate drilling in September.

Attaining the right seed rate for drilling is important as canopies which are too thick will increase lodging and disease pressure, whereas thin canopies will result in yield penalties. With SOYLseed, a detailed soil analysis is used to determine the optimum seed rate for achieving a healthy and profitable crop. This soil analysis includes:

* Electroconductivity scanning to understand the physical properties of the soil

* A field survey completed by a soil scientist to identify soil types

* Creation of % establishment maps which can then be converted into variable seed rate plans.

To find out more about how SOYLseed can reduce your crop variation by up to 50% and increase yields by up to 3%, speak to your local SOYL contact or call 01635 204190.

2. Take control of variable rate seed plans with MySOYL

Growers can produce variable rate seed plans and applications to ensure an efficient autumn drilling campaign using online farm management tool MySOYL. 

MySOYL enables growers to:

* control seed rates

* edit rates if conditions change and adjust them to your stock levels

* create in-field zones

* add last minute information such as TGW

* export drilling files directly to iSOYL and SOYL-OPTI.

MySOYL can be used to create tasks based on your preferred seed rates for your expected drilling plan; investing time in this now will help you to fully understand your seed requirements. Variables such as TGW, variety and population can be adjusted later when they are known. Plans created now will be no different to normal seed rate decisions, but will appropriately place the seed around this default figure to suit varying soil types.  

To further control seed rates to suit local conditions, MySOYL has an edit tool which allows you to amend establishment layers. Original maps will have been created according to soil characteristics, but these won't account for specific ground conditions such as black-grass, rabbit damage, game strips or trials. Zones can be added and edited where needed to account for factors like these, ensuring crops will have the best possible start.

These new zones are then assigned a new % establishment figure which will either decrease or increase seed rates to suit the situation. To manage blackgrass for example, the affected areas can be mapped on the establishment layer in mySOYL and reduced % establishment figures entered. When converted into an application file, these new zones will have an increased seed rate to ensure the crop out-competes any blackgrass.

MySOYL is available to all SOYL customers and online training is provided to help you get the most from its features, as well as ongoing technical support when you need it. To access the training, simply call the mySOYL support team on 01635 204190 to arrange a convenient time.

A valid MySOYL account is needed to access the system; if you do not already have login details, please speak to your usual SOYL contact, call 01635 204190 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your trading name and the email address you wish to register.

There is a small per hectare charge for exporting your files from mySOYL; this is typically 50% less than offline file production by the SOYLseed team.

3. CLAAS yield mapping support around the clock

As CLAAS UK's official precision farming support partner, SOYL has been busy supporting growers with their pre-harvest preparations.

A year?s software support is included with purchases of new CLAAS combines and buyers are contacted by SOYL to arrange software installation and training.

Any queries following the initial set up can be made by calling SOYL on 01635 204190. If calling out of hours, this number will divert to a 24/7 call answering service, where the call will be logged and allocated to an experienced member of staff who will promptly call back to resolve any issues.

Existing CLAAS yield mappers can also benefit from SOYL?s support service for a small annual charge; please call 01635 204190 to find out more.

4. Meet Jeremy Hollis

"When I joined SOYL, I was carrying out nutrient sampling out in the field and then making fertiliser recommendations from the office. I had a background in soil research and sampling and survey work for farmers, so I was no stranger to the soils aspect of the work, but the precision farming concept was new to me and took a while to take on board.

That was nearly 14 years ago. Since then, I have helped to set up our variable seed rate service, SOYLseed and I still do the training for field staff that do the soil survey work for this. For the past two years, my main role has been in the science team. As well as responding to queries on soil science issues from the sales team, I monitor and report on our crop trials for SOYL's variable nitrogen and seed rate services. These trials provide useful data and help us to see how we can improve our services too.

The science team is constantly on the lookout for new precision crop production techniques that could help farmers. Two soil properties we are currently investigating are organic matter and soil structure and their effect on other soil properties and crop growth. An interesting find last year was that magnesium may have a more important role than currently understood in grain protein development, especially on chalky soils and we're investigating this further this year.

Work like this makes my job really exciting, and I like the mixture of office and field work too. I also enjoy the camaraderie and good humour of my colleagues; having such a friendly, supportive team makes a really positive difference to the service we give to our customers."

Don?t forget you can follow us on Twitter @SOYLprecision for regular updates on soils, nutrients, machinery and GPS.

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