Crops

In our recent survey, 26% of arable farmers reported that they are seeing the effects of climate change on their land now.  61% think they’ll be experiencing it over the next ten years.

For the arable sector, the big issue is nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 270 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 50% of all agricultural GHG emissions are nitrous oxide. It is released directly from the application of manufactured and organic fertiliser and from the natural processes taking place in soils, and indirectly from the production of manufactured fertiliser.

Nitrous oxide exists as part of a natural and very complex cycle. We can't eliminate it from the system, but we can take measures to reduce its production.  Better use of nitrogen in animal and crop nutrition, improvements in feed, manures and fertilisers can reduce nitrous oxide emissions and help to reduce agriculture’s contribution to diffuse pollution in water and air. You can find out more about the Nitrogen cycle with our interactive diagram.

Water is also becoming a hot topic. Hotter, drier summers are predicted because of climate change, and you will have to increase your yield whilst using less water. See our water management factsheet and our interactive UK map for information on the Broadland Water Abstractor Group where a group of farmers have got together to collaborate on this issue.

For a detailed look at the arable sector and climate change, see our arable factsheet. The great news is that half of the arable farmers we contacted say they are already taking action to mitigate climate change and 43% think it’s possible for them to meet the 11% emissions reduction target as set out by Government.

Are you part of the 50% taking action?

There are lots of other factsheets and resources that will be of interest to you as an arable farmer and you can find them below. You can see a full list of our resources here and it may also be useful for you to use our Interactive Google map to get up to date information and advice for your region. You may also want to look into a 0 per cent Carbon Trust loan for energy efficiency improvements.

Read our arable factsheet by clicking here.

Crops - Blogs

  • Fri, 28/04/2017 - 06:24
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    Editor's Summary Triticeae grasses, which include barley, wheat and rye, are widely cultivated plants with particularly complex genomes and evolutionary histories. Sequencing of the barley genome has been particularly challenging owing to its large...
  • Thu, 27/04/2017 - 10:38
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    Terrestrial molluscs are some of the most important herbivores in temperate habitats. They tend to be generalists and can be serious pests in agricultural fields, particularly no-till fields used for field and forage crops; however, farmers have...
  • Fri, 21/04/2017 - 09:58
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    Because water is essential to life, organisms have evolved a wide range of strategies to cope with water limitations, including actively searching for their preferred moisture levels to avoid dehydration. (Oecoligia) Plants use moisture gradients to...
  • Thu, 20/04/2017 - 10:46
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    Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture,...
  • Wed, 19/04/2017 - 09:15
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    A study conducted at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in spring 2015 explored the effects of spatial arrangements of bi-crop mixtures of wheat and beans with different growth characteristics on resource use efficiency and forage quality. 4...

Crops - Case Studies

Langmead Farms is located in the Chichester area and grows vegetables and salad crops. Irrigation is key to their business. It is the only way that...
Kemble Farms Ltd: Focus on anaerobic digestionDavid Ball is farm manager for Kemble Farms Ltd. In 2008 they completed the installation of a 300kW anaerobic digestion plant, which complemented...
James Barbour: Focus on soil managementFollowing the ban on straw burning in the early 1990s, Norfolk-based James Barbour was forced to transform the way he farms his soil. Using a unique...