Arable Crops Glossary

Arable Crops Definitions

  • Arable Farming – The production of crops.
  • Barley – A cereal crop grown mainly for malting and as an animal feed.
  • Biodiesel – Fuel that has been produced using crops.
  • Blight – A potato disease.
  • Buteric Silage – Silage that is too wet and does not ferment properly.
  • Canola – The American name for oilseed rape, an arable crop grown for the extraction of oil from the seeds.
  • Chlorophyll – The green pigment in leaves.
  • Chloroplasts – The leaf cells in plants.
  • CO2 – The chemical formula for Carbon Dioxide.
  • Dehusked – To remove the outer layer on grain.
  • H2O – The chemical formula for Water.
  • Hay – A mature grass that has been cut and allowed to dry in the field.
  • O2 – The chemical formula for Oxygen.
  • Oats – A cereal crop grown for animal feed and for cereal foods for human consumption.
  • Oilseed Rape – An arable crop, also known as canola, grown for the extraction of oil from the seeds.
  • Photosynthesis – The food making process of a plant which takes place in the leaf.
  • Potato Cyst Nematode – A soil borne pest that affects the potato crop.
  • Potatoes – An arable crop and root vegetable grown for human consumption.
  • Silage – Grass that has been preserved by pickling rather than drying.
  • Wheat – A cereal crop grown for animal feed and for the production of flour.

Potato Varieties Grown On The Farm

There are many varieties of potatoes which are grown for different reasons.

Soilman asked, “What varieties do you grow?”

The potato varieties we have grown on the farm over the years are:

  • Hermes – these potatoes have been grown for a merchant that sells the potatoes for crisping.
  • King Edward – these potatoes have been sold to the public for consumption as mash, chips or roast potatoes.
  • Cara – these are table potatoes and have been sold to the public.
  • Russet Burbank – these potatoes were grown to make chips.
  • Cultra – these potatoes were grown for the table.
  • Record – these potatoes have been grown for making crisps.
  • Estima – these table potatoes have been sold to the public.
  • Desiree – these are potatoes that are grown for the table.

If you are wanting to grow potatoes in your vegetable garden then visit TopVeg for excellent potato growing advice.

Barley Harvest Completed


Barley In The Field

Barley In The Field

The barley has been successfully harvested this year and the grain is safely stored in the new grain store.


Barley Grain In Storage

Barley Grain In Storage

Our Winter barley had a good harvest but the Spring barley was more difficult this year.

Oilseed Rape Harvest

The oilseed rape harvest is approaching here on the farm. Normally the crop is ‘swathed’. This is where a machine cuts the crop and lays it back down on the ground in rows with the seed pods intact. The rape is swathed approximately 2 weeks before the combine harvester comes along and picks up the swath and then separates the oilseeds from the pods and straw.

The problem we have encountered this year is related to the wet ground conditions caused by the heavy rains in the latter part of June. It is so waterlogged in the fields that the rape swathers (which look like mini combine harvesters) cannot travel on the fields without getting bogged down in the muddy soil. Another problem with swathing in these conditions is that in places there is water standing in pools on the soil surface which would rot/decompose the rape as it lies in the swath. As a result many farmers are adopting a different approach to the oilseed rape harvest this year. Instead of swathing, the rape crops are been dessicated with a chemical to kill the plant and help create an even ripening of the seeds. The crop will then be harvested by direct cutting with a combine harvester. The rape crop develops into a tangled mass of plant material which can cause problems with the combine and so it is necessary to fit side knives to the front of the machine. These knives are mounted vertically to cut through the tangled plant stems as the combine works its way forward along the field. Demand for side knives has been high and it is now nearly impossible to buy one as all the stockists have sold out.

On our farm we have a 3 foot side knife that we use for harvesting beans, but we have doubted weather or not it will cope with the tall rape crop. After telephoning several machinery supply companies (who had all sold out of new knives) we eventually found a second hand knife which is in need of some repair but importantly it is 4′ long and so it is currently been sent by a parcel company from a farmer in Kent.

Direct cutting the rape will be a new experience for us here so we keep our fingers crossed that the machinery will be able to perform the task without too many seed losses.

Planting Potatoes

March and April is always potato planting time on our farm. We normally finish planting the seed potatoes by Good Friday so that my husband can participate in the Good Friday tradition in our area – watching the rugby in our local town.

Planting Seed Potatoes Planting Seed Potatoes Planting Seed Potatoes

This year the seed potato didn’t arrive on time so the planting was put back a week. Thankfully the weather stayed fine and all the seed potatoes are now in the ground. Let’s hope that the weather is as good to us at harvest time in October!