On Wednesday 3rd July 2019, our members were invited to visit the Lamport Trial site once again as a follow up to the trip in April.  This was an early start, arriving at 8 am but happily, with the promise of bacon rolls around a dozen members were able to attend and David White has provided feedback:

How do you turn a field in an “old farm” system which produces unsustainable levels of Blackgrass even after a full herbicide programme and a negative financial return into a sustainable one that shows a profit?  This is the example we saw on our return visit to the excellent Agrovista Lamport site on July 3rd this year.

Following an earlier visit in April the group were keen to re-visit the site and see how the plots looked nearer harvest, and importantly after the Blackgrass had changed to head!

Blackgrass plot resulting from old farm practice.

Just as had been forecast by Craig and Niall the combination of reduced tillage, the intelligent selection of cover crop types and importantly seed rates, alongside the correct destruction timing and crop rotation had demonstrated we can control blackgrass profitably.

Again, we also got to see the work that Philip Wright had done in a series of cultivation treatments and the pits that Philip had dug perfectly showed the results of what had been achieved and that less can be more when it comes to siting a high horsepower tractor.

Above Philip’s spade work – Soil heap and soil pit from Philip’s cultivation plots.

I thought David Purdy had perhaps taken on more than was humanly possible when I had sight of his matrix of soil health measurement trials in the spring but with the fascinating series of measuring instruments he was able to show us and the dedication he has put into collecting the data, he is also generating an invaluable “bible” of soil health measurements around different mechanical and other influences.  Well done David!

The site and trial plots have evolved since the field was last ploughed in 2013 into very educational body of work that every farmer can learn from and we look forward to our winter visit in November.

Many thanks to all that gave their time to show us around the site and also for the refreshments. David White

Our grateful thanks go to Niall Atkinson, Craig Morgan, Philip Wright and David Purdy for once again sharing their knowledge and results of their trials.

We look forward to our third visit which will take place on Wednesday 27th November 2019 to see how the plot looks following harvest and drilling.  Details will be sent to members nearer the time.

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