Our focus is on the quality of trials and the questions being answered, rather than the number of plots.
Investment in research, data capture and training is increasingly important in helping our customers meet the challenges of an uncertain future. We now have replicated trials running on 17 different sites from Scotland to Devon and the results from these are used in conjunction with our ProCam 4Cast data to fine-tune our agronomy and crop production recommendations. You’ll probably think there isn’t much more that can be learned by conducting more agronomy trials and research, but the truth is our industry continues to need answers to several important questions if UK growers are to move forward in the future.
However you view things, these are watershed years with the three crop rule driving greater on-farm diversification, tightening environmental legislation regulating how products are used and the loss of effective chemistry through ongoing revocation and reduced efficacy. Any one of these would signpost a major change in agricultural practice and the advice that underpins it but together they represent a potential sea-change in production. Over recent years we’ve looked at:
- How best to use and position SDHI fungicide chemistry in winter cereals.
- The potential challenges ahead should certain key triazoles, be revoked.
- Control options for Septoria and the new strains of rust.
- The yield effects of delayed Autumn drilling.
- Effectiveness of herbicide stacks in wet and drought conditions.
- Interactions between fungicide programmes and micronutrient use.
- Use of new biological growth stimulants in barley and spring beans.
Other areas under investigation include disease control options in oilseed rape following the loss of some of the key actives used today and the evaluation of some new weed control options in maize.