Tag Archives: rotations

UK research institutes collaborate on crop rotation

AHDB’s Potatoes and Horticulture sectors have teamed up with AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds to fund four new projects looking at the overall effects of soil health throughout crop rotation.

In total £1.2 million has been awarded to the interrelated projects will form a five-year programme of research to help farmers and agronomists optimise soil and water management decisions and plan environmentally and economically beneficial rotations.

Dr Mike Storey, AHDB Head of Resource Management, said,“There has been a lot of work on the impact of soil conditions, cultivations and management on individual crop performance but we believe this new programme is unique in its scale and ambition. This research will generate new data and knowledge to answer challenges across whole rotations and provide information and tools to allow farm businesses to make rewarding and sustainable rotational decisions.”

The partnership is led by NIAB CUF, with Rothamsted Research, the James Hutton Institute and Lancaster University, but includes 14 other organisations including Aarhus University, Vegetable Consultancy Services, Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Organisation, Grimme (UK), Kettle Produce, Greenvale AP and Frederick Hiam.

Photo Caption: Dr Mike Storey

Photo Credit: AHDB

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PGRO underlines benefits of pulse crops

PGRO has used the start of the UK pea harvest to underline the benefits of pulses in crop rotations.

“As the pea harvest gets under way, with bean harvest to follow, this is a good time to underline the numerous benefits from growing pulses,” said Roger Vickers, PGRO Chief Executive. “Some have a clear financial value, while others are equally valuable but have less measurable monetary benefits.”

These include the fixation of approximately 250kgs of N/ha. While significant amounts of this are used by the crop itself, the residue from a crop of beans is typically 50–75 kilos N/ha, worth around £60. Unlike any residual nitrogen from other non-leguminous crops, which is derived from paid-for N applied to the previous crop, this N is completely free.

PGRO also stresses that, ‘Spring-grown pulses in particular open up an extended window for cultural and stale seedbed techniques in the fight against blackgrass and other pernicious weeds. Pulses also widen the choice of chemistry available for blackgrass control, giving the grower an improved approach to the problem.’

Other benefits in the PGRO ‘top ten’ include spreading of farm workloads, slug control, soil health and compliance with CAP rules.

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