Blackgrass can be reduced by nearly 50% depending on the time of sowing of winter wheat, a new field lab has concluded. Findings from Innovative Farmers trials on a Suffolk farm and new results from a trial of ‘compost teas’ are to be announced by Liz Bowles, Head of Farming for the Soil Association, at the February Pollinator.
Field labs – which provide an opportunity to experiment with different cultivation techniques on a farm scale – are being explored in the meeting to show the benefits of involvement for both farmers and scientists.
Bowles will be joined at the Pollinator meeting by Ian Pigott, managing director of Thrales End Farm, which has been running a farm scale trial for many years, and also plant pathologist Prof Jon West of Rothamsted Research.
There will be an opportunity to hear about the findings of the two trials and to discuss the concept of a field lab.
Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East, says that bringing the science into the field is beneficial not just for the farmers but also the researchers:
“There are considerable variables in the field that are not apparent to scientists working under perfect conditions in the lab. To increase resilience in crops we need more opportunities to experiment with a wider range of approaches.
“Hearing from both the farmers and the scientists at this meeting will be very interesting.”
For more information about “Pipettes and Ploughs: Taking the Lab to the Field”, 16.00 23rd February 2016 at Rothamsted Research see the events page.