Strategic Cereal Farm West (2018-2021)

Rob Fox
Leamington Spa
Farm sectors:
Cereals & Oilseeds
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About Strategic Cereal Farm West (2018-2021)

  • Strategic Cereal Farm 2018–2021

  • 400 hectares of owned and rented land

  • Rotation includes winter wheat, winter barley winter oilseed rape, spring beans and spring barley

  • Monitor Farm 2014–2017
AHDB Strategic Cereal Farms put cutting-edge research and innovation into practice on commercial farms around the UK. Each farm hosts field-scale and farm-scale demonstrations, with experiences shared via on-farm and online events to the wider farming community.

Strategic Cereal Farm West ran for three years (2018–2021), following on from three years (2014–2017) as a Monitor Farm. The arable farm tested approaches to reduce the environmental impact of farming, while maintaining productivity. The rotation includes winter wheat, winter barley, winter oilseed rape, spring beans and spring barley.

The farm hosted four main trials:

  1. How stubble management affects black-grass

This trial tested the effectiveness of stubble management cultivation strategies on black-grass control in winter wheat. It compared the farm standard approach with two other cultivation approaches – which, unlike the farm standard, did not include the use of glyphosate.

  1. How cultivation depth affects crop rooting

Low rainfall can constrain cereal yields, especially at critical growth stages. Climate change is likely to make this more problematic. This trial examined how cultivation system depth affects soil health, crop rooting, yields and cost of production.

  1. How flowering strips and grass margins affect pest populations

This trial examined whether field margins and flower strips encourage populations of beneficial organisms that contribute to pest control. The approach tested flower strips in the field and at the edges of fields. It also assessed the impact of grass margins.

  1. How to reduce fungicide inputs

The loss of chemistry, fungicide resistance and input costs mean it is important to identify better ways to manage cereal diseases. This trial tested the cost-benefit of fungicide input programmes, building upon AHDB fungicide performance data and disease resistance data in the Recommended Lists (RL).

Learn about the on-farm trials at Strategic Cereal Farm West (2018–2021)

Watch the action in the Strategic Cereal Farm West YouTube playlist


To explore meeting outputs, click on the 'See more' link below.

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Farm Video