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Calling on farmers and field managers: join the Plant Teams Field Lab

Baling wheat and bean plant team (c) James Hutton Institute
"The aim of the Plant Teams Field Lab is to harness the potential of crop species mixtures to improve Scottish yield stability, soil fertility, reduce pest and disease damage, and increase resilience to climate stress"

The James Hutton Institute is teaming with Soil Association Scotland and Scotland's Rural College to work with farmers in a Field Lab to trial crop mixtures or ‘plant teams’. Field Labs are free to attend and open to all land managers, whether organic or not. They allow farmers to test out innovative real-life solutions to practical challenges, with input from experts.

The aim of the Plant Teams Field Lab is to harness the potential of crop species mixtures to improve Scottish yield stability, soil fertility, reduce pest and disease damage, and increase resilience to climate stress.

Can plant mixtures improve soil health and crop yield on your farm? Researchers need farmers and land managers to trial a plant team (e.g. peas and barley), compare it to a nearby monoculture and share basic crop performance data.

Farmers taking part in this field lab will have access to plant teams research findings at the James Hutton Institute, funded by the Scottish Government and the Horizon 2020-funded DIVERSify project. It will also link to SRUC research into intercropping and the EU-ReMIX project.

Field lab participants will hear from Alison Karley and Adrian Newton (James Hutton Institute) and Robin Walker (SRUC) about research trials carried out in Scotland to test the performance of different varieties of cereals (barley, wheat, oat) when grown with varieties of legumes (pea, faba bean, lentil) for grain or silage. This information can be used to select cereal and legume varieties suitable for plant teams on Scottish farms.

The first Plant Teams Field Lab is on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 (10.30 am – 4 pm) at Balmaise Community Centre in Leven, Fife, and will include a visit to Durie Farms to see how farmer Doug Christie has been successfully growing plant teams for many years, and to see what equipment he uses for drilling, harvesting and separating the crops.  Free lunch and hot refreshments will also be provided.

Participants will meet up to four times over a period of 12-18 months to give them the chance to follow the progress of results from start to finish. For information on how to register for the Plant Teams Field Lab, visit the Soil Association website.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/calling-farmers-and-field-managers-join-plant-teams-field-lab on 21/09/18 07:38:09 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.