Strategic Cereal Farm Results Week – November 2021

Our Strategic Cereal Farms put cutting-edge research and innovation into practice on commercial farms around the UK. This week of online events (November 2021) featured the latest results, delivered by our farm hosts, industry experts and researchers.

Strategic Cereal Farm home page

Monday 15 November

Can insecticide use be reduced with in-field flower strips?

Trials at Strategic Farm East and Strategic Farm West have been investigating whether flower strips in the field or at the field edge can encourage beneficials, while Strategic Farm Scotland has been baselining the prevalence of pests and beneficials across the mixed farm.

Join Mark Ramsden (ADAS), Lorna Cole (SRUC), Aoife O’Driscoll (NIAB), Patrick Barker (Strategic Farm East) and David Aglen (Strategic Farm Scotland) to discuss the results from this work. Compare and contrast results from Scotland to East Anglia and hear more about the practicalities of growing flower strips, monitoring pests and encouraging natural enemies on your farm.

Tuesday 16 November

Can a managed approach to lower inputs create a cost effective, productive arable enterprise?

Loss of chemistry and fungicide resistance means that we need new ways to manage cereal diseases. Strategic Farm West, East and Scotland have looked at different management approaches to lowering inputs, such as variety choice, application timing and other ways to improve plant health.

This webinar will cover the results and findings from the three Strategic Farms and hear a first-hand account of the grower’s experience, what they learnt and what they will take forward into the coming season. Ask your questions and share your experiences of lowering inputs on farm.

Wednesday 17 November

Can cover and catch crops help create a more profitable arable enterprise? 

Catch or cover crops have been included in trials at Strategic Farm East and Strategic Farm West over the past two years.  The effects of these on soil structure, nutrient capture, water quality, nutrient release and ease of establishment for the next crop have been assessed. 

Join Brian Barker (Strategic Farm East), Nathan Morris (NIAB) and Anne Bhogal (ADAS) for a conversation to discuss the results from this work, with commentary and personal experiences provided by Strategic Farm South host, David Miller. Hear the pros and cons of using these features in the rotation, balancing the management, costs and wider environmental aspects to ensure success. 

Thursday 18 November

Can soil management practices build resilient production systems by improving soil health?

Management practices that improve soil health are at the heart of future government incentives for arable farmers. But what are the practical steps that you can take?

Join David Aglen (Strategic Farm Scotland), David Miller (Strategic Farm South) and research specialists to discuss how different approaches to soil management impact soil health and crop performance. Ask your questions and share your experiences – an interactive session looking at the benefits and drawbacks of management systems in different soil types and weather conditions.

Friday 19 November

What makes land marginal? What to do with it both for a profitable business and a better environment? 

As the pressure ramps up to continue farming profitably without BPS, it is essential to know which parts of the farm contribute to profitability and viability, and which bits detract. As well as rotational cropping, there are now ELMS scheme alternatives which may offer financial and environmental benefit. Over 2 years, physical and financial assessments at Strategic Farm East have been carried out to develop a methodology to help answer this question at a practical farm level.

Join Brian Barker (Strategic Farm East), David Clarke (NIAB), Robin Aird (Gloucestershire Farm Manager, Charlton Park Estate) and John Hawkins (Dorset farmer) to discuss the results from this work, with commentary and personal experiences. A practical session looking at making farms not only profitable but also viable and environmentally sustainable. 

Find out more about AHDB's Strategic Cereal Farms