Green Horizons Trials Update: Part 2 - Agrii - Connecting Agri-science with farming

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April 11, 2022

Green Horizons Trials Update: Part 2

Green Horizons is kindly supported by the following

News update 2/3

In 2021 we carried out a wide range of Green Horizons trials covering aspects of nutrition, biosolutions, new chemistries and maximising soil resilience.

These trials were kindly supported by our Green Horizons sponsors: UPL, FMC, Corteva, BASF, Bayer and Interagro.

Here we provide a brief summary of some of the trials that were undertaken.

This is the second such summary, and you can view our first news update here.

We’ll be posting further updates over the next few weeks, including a summary of trials planned for 2022.


ASSESSING CONTINUOUS WHEAT PERFORMANCE

Objective: To assess what factors affect continuous wheat performance – focusing on fertiliser and seed treatments.
Yield by continuous wheat - Green Horizons Update
Location: Stow Longa, Cambridgeshire

Crop: Winter wheat (Skyfall – drilled 27th October 2020) – this was a combination of 2nd to 6th winter wheats with various seed treatments and fertiliser inputs.

Findings:

  • This trial highlighted the need to think ‘nutrient use efficiency’ and not just nitrogen use efficiency. Potassium was evidently an important factor in producing higher yields and protein levels, and this was consistent across other crops.
  • Calcium and Magnesium could also have contributed to higher yields alongside with the Polysulphate doing better than the straight NKS.
  • With the addition of K, Nitrogen can potentially be reduced by 50kgs on this soil type. That could save 90kg CO2 equivalent from your carbon balance!

FUNGICIDE CHOICES TRIAL

Objective: To assess how a greener crop protection programme performs across a range of winter wheat varieties

Location: Yorkshire, Wiltshire, Kent

Crop type: Winter wheat – across fourteen different varieties, four different programmes were tested:

  1. UntreatedSeptoria Sites
  2. Standard fungicide programme
  3. Reduced rate fungicide programme
  4. Reduced rate fungicide programme with micronutrition, biostimulants and adjuvants

Findings:

  • The standard fungicide programme still yielded the highest across all varieties.
  • Better responses were seen from programme 4 with micronutrition, biostimulants and adjuvants in the dirtier Septoria varieties.
  • On average, the bolstered programme increased yield by 0.12t/ha compared to the reduced programme, but at an additional cost of £63/ha.
  • Varieties such as KWS Extase and SY Insitor yielded the highest across all treatments. KWS Firefly and LG Prince were the lowest yielding with 1.51t/ha difference.

BIOLOGICAL v FUNGICIDE-BASED PROGRAMME

Objective: To compare crop performance from a biological-based v full foliar fungicide programme.

Location: Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

Crop: KWS Parkin.

Findings:

  • Overall good yields were achieved with a biological based programme but at the cost of higher disease pressures and poorer grain fill. The full fungicide programme still produced the higher yield and TGW.
  • A higher instance of stem fusarium was seen with the biological programme, increasing the possibility of lodging/brackling. Other varieties may have been more susceptible.

Look out for the next in this series of updates, which will cover the Green Horizons trials we have planned for 2022, including:

  • Assessing whether different wheat varieties have an effect on the microbiome in the surrounding root system.
  • To explore the benefits and barriers of a regenerative agriculture approach versus a conventional approach.
  • Bi-cropping and the effects of terminating one of the species being used with a range of products.
  • Further work on variety blends.