Strategic Cereal Farm West
About Strategic Cereal Farm West
Rob Fox manages Squab Hall Farm, based just outside Leamington Spa. The business is highly diversified, with a large enterprise around general storage and document storage, as well as machinery and labour sharing with three arable farms. Robert farms 400 ha of owned and rented land, with a rotation of winter wheat, winter barley, winter oilseed rape, spring beans and spring barley.
Strategic Cereal Farms are a key part of AHDB’s Farm Excellence network. They provide a platform to showcase research in practice via a structured combination of short and long term field and farm scale trials. Each Strategic Cereal Farm runs for six years to allow independent demonstration of research to be conducted across a full rotation.
Strategic Farm Week 2020
For all content, videos, webinar links and resources linked to Strategic Farm Week, please visit: ahdb.org.uk/sfweek2020
Please press the “+ See more” button below to see the details from the trials and baselining results from the Strategic Cereal Farm West.
Mission and vision
The Strategic Cereal Farm West is a platform integrating research and practical farming that has the potential to change the way we farm for the better.
The Strategic Cereal Farm West demonstrates research outputs and communicates the full net-margin cost benefit analysis of demonstrations to help farmers make real differences to their businesses and continue to be proud of our industry and the jobs we do.
The vision of the Strategic Cereal Farm West is to independently test research outputs in an open, honest and transparent way. The project will help the UK agricultural industry, primarily farmers, to try out new strategies and develop practical solutions to address regional priorities and challenges.
Trials - Harvest 2020
The trials taking place at the Strategic Cereal Farm West for harvest 2020 are outlined below:
The impacts of different cultivation practices on soil quality and health, crop rooting and yield
Pests and natural enemies
The effect of perennial flower strips on selected invertebrate pests and natural enemies to investigate variation in species and abundance.
Summer catch crops
The effect of a summer catch crop on soil nitrogen supply, soil structure and the performance of the following crop in the rotation.
Trials - Harvest 2019
In the first year of the Strategic Farm, we carried out a range of assessments in order to create a baseline for the farm. These assessments included: soil analysis, earthworm assessments, electrical conductivity scanning, crop assessments and a weather station was installed.
The aim of this trial is to define any differences in rooting properties and cost of production between the different cultivation scenarios. This trial started in 2018 and will be continued for the duration of the Strategic Cereal Farm West programme.
Click here to see a trial overview of the cultivation trial.
The aim of tis trial is to determine whether yield is reduced on the headlands and whether different cultivation strategies can alleviate these differences.
Click here to see a trial overview of the headlands trial.
Managed lower inputs
The aim of this demonstration is to determine the effect of reduced input regimes and cost of production to promote stewardship and raise awareness of practical anti-resistance measures.
Click here to see a trial overview of the managed lower inputs trial.
- 11 December: Results Day (report, pdf) (presentations, pdf)
- 5 June 2019: Summer open day
- 6 June 2018: launch meeting (report, pdf) (presentations, pdf)
If you would like more information about the Strategic Cereal Farm West, please get in touch.
For information on the research, trials, demonstrations and findings:
- Rob Fox, Strategic Cereal Farm West host: @SquabRob
- Emily Pope, AHDB Senior Knowledge Transfer Manager: email@example.com, @emilypope_KT
For information on events, resources or visiting the Strategic Cereal Farm West:+