Strategic Farm Week - Summer 2020

A week dedicated to the latest results and information from AHDB's Strategic Cereal Farms.

Strategic Farm Week 2020!

Thank you for joining us for AHDB’s Strategic Cereal Farm Week this year.

This year, we brought together the research taking place on our Strategic Farms with our hosts, researchers and key experts from across the industry for a week of practical discussions, technical information and resources.

Please follow the links below to watch back the webinars that interest you, download our ‘how to’ resources for use on your own farm, watch the video updates to hear about the latest findings on our field-scale trials or listen to the podcast special

MONDAY 1st JUNE – What’s happening on the Strategic Farms?

Watch our pre-recorded videos with our three Strategic Farmers – Brian Barker, East; Rob Fox, West and David Aglen, Scotland – along with our trials lead at Strategic Farm East and West, ADAS, to hear the latest on the on-farm trials, results and research happening on these farms.

Strategic Farm East Demonstrations and Trials for Harvest 2020

An overview of the research work at the Strategic Cereal Farm East for harvest 2020 and outline plans for harvest 2021.
Plus trial update videos for the:

  • Early crop biomass demonstration
  • Cover crop demonstration
  • Pests and natural enemies monitoring

Videos include: Brian Barker, EJ Barker & Sons, Emily Pope, AHDB, Kate Smith, Damian Hatley and Mark Ramsden, ADAS

Watch videos

Strategic Farm West Demonstrations and Trials for Harvest 2020

An overview of the research work at the Strategic Cereal Farm West for harvest 2020 – the results to-date and costings. Outline plans for harvest 2021.

Video include: Rob Fox; Emily Pope, Anne Bhogal, Frances Pickering and Richard Meredith

Watch videos

Introduction to our first Strategic Cereal Farm in Scotland

An introduction to the Strategic Farm Scotland business, approach and Strategic Farm outline aims.

Video features Farm Manager, David Aglen and business owner, Johnnie Balfour of Balbirnie Home Farms.

Watch video

TUESDAY 2nd JUNE – ‘How to’ webinars

09:00 – 10:30 - How to monitor crop development and disease

Join this webinar to discover how to disease score your crops and assess crop development through the season to help inform matching inputs to potential through the season and maximising yield potential.

Watch webinar

Download the handouts:

12:00 – 13:30 - How to monitor for key pests and beneficials

Join this Strategic Farm Week webinar to discover how to set up, monitor, analyse and use the information from your pitfall traps and sticky traps on-farm to best use this summer and autumn.

Strategic Farmer Rob Fox, will be joined by Mark Ramsden (ADAS) and Charlotte Rowley (AHDB) to take you on a journey through measurement of aphids, cabbage stem flea beetle, slugs and their natural enemies on your farm.

Watch webinar

Download the handouts:

19:00 – 20:30 How to decide when to lower inputs

Interested in the movement towards farming systems that use the five principles of Regenerative Agriculture?

Then join us for this evening webinar session. The aim of the event is to disseminate information on soil and plant health by providing a platform for dialogue between you, our Strategic Farmers David Aglen and Brian Barker, and leading farmers in this field, Simon Cowell and Tim Parton.

This session will promote discussion towards finding practical solutions to producing nutritionally dense food whilst increasing soil organic matter and carbon sequestration and ultimately reducing reliance on plant protection products.

Watch webinar

Download the handouts:

Join the discussion, ask your questions, take away the “how to” resources to do this for your farm business and hear what the Strategic Farms are doing to use this research in their on-farm trials.


Download our Strategic Farm week podcast to listen to the latest updates direct to your tractor or sprayer.

Read the technical details of the Strategic Farm research from the handouts at the links below, including costings, layout, methodology and results from harvest 2020 trials to-date:

Strategic Cereal Farm East

Strategic Cereal Farm West

THURSDAY 4th JUNE – Masterclass webinars

Crop establishment considerations

For Strategic Farmer Rob Fox, challenging soil conditions for the second year in a row have highlighted the importance of achieving good crop establishment. Choosing a suitable approach is not necessarily the case of picking up the cheapest system or the one delivering the highest yields. There are practical factors to consider such as performance in contrasting wet and dry seasons as well as farm-specific pressures, such as grassweeds, pests, labour availability, rotation and soil type that all influence soil health, crop rooting and yield potential.

To help identify the right system for his farm, AHDB Strategic Farmer, Rob Fox, is hosting an establishment trial. On 4th June he will be joined by Jane Rickson (Cranfield University) and Emily Pope (AHDB) to review and reflect upon his learnings to date. This will be an interactive session looking at how to apply soil management research into practice on your own farm.

Watch webinar

Soil structure and earthworm assessments masterclass

Interested in your soil health? This will be a practical session looking at how to assess your soil structure, using a VESS assessment, and your earthworm numbers across the farm. Use this information to inform management practices and hear how this has been put into practice on the AHDB Strategic Farms.

Led by Anne Bhogal, ADAS with David Aglen, Strategic Farm Scotland host, this will provide a hands on guide to what is needed in-field, a forum to ask your questions and the resources to carry it out for your farm business.

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Mole drainage and soil loosening masterclass

Optimising soil to get the right channels in place for roots and water is critical. This Strategic Farm Week webinar looked at practical tips and considerations on what to look for in-field, decisions on what is needed and if required, how to get mole drainage and soil loosening right this autumn on your farm.

Philip Wright, independent soils expert, along with the Strategic Farm East host, Brian Barker, Essex farmer, David Lord and AHDB’s Harry Henderson discuss the topic, particularly relevant following last winter’s rainfall and the current dry weather.

Watch webinar

2 BASIS and NRoSO points are available for attending/watching the six webinars. If you missed entering your details, please contact Teresa at the contact details below with your membership number, postcode and date of birth to be registered.

If you have any questions or would like further details, please get in touch with Teresa Meadows, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager - / 07387 015465

Thank you for joining us for Strategic Cereal Farm Week 2020!

Find out more:

AHDB Strategic Farm East 

AHDB Strategic Farm West 

AHDB Strategic Farm Scotland