Cover crop trials

Preperations have started for establishing this years spring barley crop where we are hosting an ongoing trial for both Agrii and DSV. We have been growing strips of different cover crop mixes for the past 5 years on this block and this will be the thrid barley crop that Agrii and DSV have been involved with. 

Every year we have add something else into the trial and so far everything we have done has thrown up some interesting results. Last season we moved away from just direct drilling the whole plot to spliting each trial into ploughed, min-tilled and direct drilled strips. We also have a strip running through each plot where we are applying zero nutrients year on year. The reason for this strip is to go back to the natural fertility so that we can monitor what amount of nutrition the cover crops in particular the legume mixes are adding. 

This year we have also added in a strip through the plots that we have grazed with our flock of sheep. This will also be monitored year on year to see if nutrients are recycled quicker through the grazing of livestock.

Back in the autumn of 2015 we jointly hosted with Agrii and DSV an event looking at the individual mixes, this spring we plan to host a similar event but this time looking at how the barley has established in each plot with the different cultivation methods.