SOYL newsletter May 2017

1. Blackgrass mapping reaches new heights

Blackgrass mapping planeManaging blackgrass efficiently and effectively is vital. As few as 12 blackgrass plants/m2 can lead to a potential 5% yield loss, and if the population reaches 500 plants/m2, yields are cut in half.

By understanding the scale of the problem in each field, control is possible. SOYL’s new aerial blackgrass mapping service enables growers to identify the extent of any blackgrass issues and manage them more efficiently.

Mapping the presence of blackgrass is a recognised and important step in getting on top of herbicide-resistant pressure. SOYL’s new imagery and digital application maps can help growers:

•    Better understand the problem and plan targeted whole-farm chemical and cultural control options
•    Identify the biggest issues so that rotations and crop choices can be planned accordingly
•    Make informed decisions on drilling time and seed rates
•    Monitor problematic areas which may need to be sprayed in spring, or target patch spraying within the field.

A manned aircraft maps blackgrass at around 200ha/hour. With added altitude, range and speed, coverage is greater than with an unmanned aerial vehicle and more cost effective. Ideally, target fields are flown in late May to June when the flag leaf is out and blackgrass is clearer to identify.

The high resolution imagery is processed and made available via MySOYL, showing where blackgrass is present within fields. Custom application maps can then be created for patch spraying or selective herbicide application to control or destroy blackgrass areas. A MySOYL account is needed to utilise the full features of the mapping service.

To find out more, speak to your local SOYL or Frontier contact or call 01635 204190.

2. Summer workshops coming soon

enews Dec16 lammaThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to tAs the newenews May17 workshopsenews May17 workshopsA series of training workshops will offer growers the opportunity to get to grips with MySOYL, find out more about the latest SOYL services and try out technology this summer.

Following the success of our Winter Workshops which were attended by over 700 growers, 11 events will be held across the country in the coming months. SOYL’s experts will be on hand to help growers with tasks such as creating custom application files in MySOYL and working with multiple imagery and mapping layers as well as providing tips on how to get the best out of the system.

Simon Parrington, SOYL’s commercial director, said, “We aren’t exhibiting at Cereals this year but are instead investing in a nationwide tour of training sessions. The focus on customer training at these summer events will help growers to get the best out of their software and precision agronomy tools.”



Tuesday 23rd May

SOYL, Unit F, Kennetside, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5PX

Thursday 25th May

Frontier Agriculture, Georgetown Road, A1 Trunk Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2UB

Wednesday 31st May

Tewkesbury Park, Lincoln Green Lane, Tewkesbury GL20 7DN

Thursday 1st June

Frontier Agriculture, Sandy Lane, Diss, Norfolk IP22 4HY

Wednesday 7th June Bentley Hotel, Newark Road, South Hykeham, Lincoln LN6 9NH
Thursday 8th June Frontier Agriculture, Beverley Road, Cranswick, East Yorkshire YO25 9PF
Tuesday 20th June E W Davies, The Hydes, Thaxted, Dunmow, Essex CM6 3QB
Thursday 22nd June Grain Harvesters, Old Colliery, Staple Road, Wingham, Canterbury, Kent CT3 1LS
Tuesday 4th July Frontier Agriculture, Windmill Way West, Ramparts Business Park, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1TB
Wednesday 5th July Frontier Agriculture, Jura Suite 3/1, King James VI Business Centre, Riverview Business Park, Perth PH2 8DY
Thursday 6th July Frontier Agriculture, Kingseat, Newmachar, Aberdeenshire AB21 0UE

To book a place or find out more, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or speak to your local SOYL or Frontier contact.

Frontier 3D thinking demonstration site open days: Frontier is also organising a series of events this summer across the UK and SOYL will be supporting at these. To find your local event, see what's planned and book your place visit Frontier's website.

3. Variable depth cultivations offer significant savings

enews May17 cultivationsWhile completing harvest will be the primary focus for most growers at the moment, thought also needs to be given to post-harvest tasks. Cultivations will soon be upon us and conducting them at variable depths has become increasingly popular on farms in recent years.

Field scale trials of SOYL’s variable depth system have shown fuel savings of 5-10%, achieved by adjustments which make best use of the implement across the field. As the system will also help to improve soil structure, reduce machinery wear and boost work rates, using scan data to adjust depths really pays off.

While soil scan conductivity data is primarily used to alter seed rates by soil type, the data can also be used to create other types of application maps. With the ability to create maps in the farm office, growers have more flexibility to control how deep a cultivator or subsoiler operates based on scan data, soil compaction or working conditions and previous or current cropping.

Using the new custom applications feature of MySOYL, newly created or existing soil zones can be used to set a working depth based on how the field looks below the surface in each zone. From a field research dig, growers can allocate a specific work depth for each condition and once satisfied with the plan, the map can be exported to iSOYL or a GPS system such as John Deere Greenstar. This links to SOYL’s AutoDepth control on the cultivator or subsoiler to operate variably at only the depth needed in each area of the field.

For more details on SOYL AutoDepth, speak to your local SOYL or Frontier contact or call 01635 204190.

4. Custom applications tool opens up new opportunities for precision

enews May17 custom appsManaging applications is now a straighforward task with a new ‘custom applications’ feature in MySOYL. The tool enables growers to generate variable rate or on/off rate control plans for various products, such as slug pellets, Avadex or herbicide sprays.  

For example, using the principle that heavier soils generally attract greater slug pressure and with further ground-truthed evidence from slug traps, applications can be targeted according to actual and potential pressure, using different rates which still comply with maximum application of active metaldehyde content across a field.

Once a plan of action has been decided, growers can use the custom applications function to zone fields accordingly. Buffer strips can be included within the application map based on legislative requirements, such as those for spreading near watercourses, to reduce risk of contamination and show compliance. A simple on/off feature can also be set up so that product is only applied away from restricted areas, which is especially useful for novice operators or contractors.

Data from iSOYLscout and personal field knowledge can also be incorporated to set up simple application zones, for example to apply Avadex only where blackgrass is present or likely. As well as targeting the issue more effectively, this will help to reduce product costs and ultimately the cost of production per hectare.

Custom applications is part of the MySOYL platinum package. For more information, speak to your local SOYL or Frontier contact or call 01635 204190.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @SOYLprecision for regular updates on soils, nutrients, machinery and GPS.

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