AgriiFocus – Western Technology Centre
David Langton, Crop Nutrition Technical Manager
Agrii’s western technology centre, the AgriiFocus site continues to develop and hopefully you were able to come along to our event on 5th July to see a selection of the trials work. As well as the plot tours we had excellent talks from Peter Kendall, Bill Angus and Clare Bend and feedback from the event has been really positive.
As I write this, all of last season’s plots have been harvested, some of the data has been analysed and the WOSR is all drilled. Plans are being finalised for winter wheat drilling and new for the site, we will have winter barley trials.
Much of the harvest data is still to be processed but here are a few highlights:
Yields were much lower compared to previous years in line with farm experience. Average yield in the WW variety trial this year was 9.2t/ha compared to 13.6 and 13.4 for the previous two years.
Unlike the previous two seasons the earlier maturing varieties Grafton, Cordiale and Gallant were the highest yielding (10.2 – 10.5t/ha). Ear Fusarium has been rampant this year and on the site we had rain every day for 11 days from 2nd June – maybe these varieties managed to complete flowering before this period?
We have had some interesting WOSR results – 75cm row spacing was too wide but at 12.5 and 37.5cm you could drill a wide range of seed rates and still achieve the full yield. In our seedbed fertiliser trial, even though we achieved a significant improvement in autumn GAI, there was no yield benefit. For details speak to your Agrii contact.
Following a number of low disease pressure years we will learn a lot from this year’s fungicide trials. Brief highlights are that the SDHI’s have performed well – in one trial they out yielded triazole programmes by 1t/ha and the best SDHI programme added a further 0.5t/ha.
After a very promising start, last season turned out to be very challenging. There will be much to learn from many of the trials but correct interpretation will be very important. Conditions are likely to be different next season so knee jerk reactions to last year’s results may turn out not be the best decision.
We are always striving to get more out of the AgriiFocus site and to that end we have employed Dr Syed Shah to take on full responsibility for all of the R&D in the Western region and his main focus will be the AgriiFocus site. He has a strong agronomy R&D background and you will get the chance to meet him at various events around the region.
We are planning a series of events on the site starting with a field day on Thursday 22nd November – more details to follow. In the Spring we will hold further open days on WOSR and barley as well as the main AgriiFocus event in early July.
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