Review by David White – On February 4th a hardy group of around 20 Base members attended the third visit we have had to Agrovista’s Blackgrass Systems site at Lamport in Northants.
The hillside side field was cold and windy but thankfully it did not rain for the duration of the visit. It is really interesting to see the trials in the autumn or winter so that the development of the crops can be judged objectively at the return visit on one of the July open days, which we look forward to.
It’s all to easy to forget that the trials have been designed to control Blackgrass and not to demonstrate Conservation Ag husbandry principals!
As well as being hosted by Niall and David from Agrovista on the systems plots we were talked through the results so far on the soil management trial field by David Purdy with cultivation’s input from Philip Wright. The work that David is doing for his PhD could become an important reference document in how best to manage soil structure and biology in the future. It is certainly good to see positive differences under different management systems so soon.
As an addition this year we went down the road to a rape field where establishment plots with and without companion plants told a very clear story of how adding diversity over mono planting can bring benefits.
To finish the visit we well treated to a tasty warming lunch in a local pub by Agrovista for which we thank them very much.
Members will have the opportunity for a bespoke visit on Wednesday 15th July prior to Agrovista’s Open Day.
Once again, our thanks to Niall, David, Philip and all the team at Agrovista.