BBRO Demonstration Farms show improved techniques for sugar beet production on a commercial scale.
Six working farms have been selected to explore the application of new technologies and agronomic practices. They will allow BBRO to work with growers to assess the value of practices such as the use of cover crops and different cultivation and tillage regimes at a whole field and cross-rotational scale.
The farms have been selected to cover a range of soils types including Lincolnshire brash, silt, peaty loam, and a range of lighter soils such as sands, sandy loam and sandy clay loams.
Many of the new practices will have already been tested at the replicated plot scale but the farms will demonstrate how these can be scaled up to the whole field level.
On each demonstration farm there will be strips of nine commonly grown varieties from the Recommended List. These will be drilled, managed and harvested as commercial crops.
This will allow us to compare pest and diseases susceptibilities, provide opportunities to apply some differential treatments such nitrogen rates and foliar feeds and to assess yields at different harvest dates.
This aspect will provide some insight to 'variety X soil type X location' interactions and highlight how we may be able to ‘tailor’ crop management practice more precisely.
Several sugar beet crops will be also be monitored and assessed closely across the season. The data will be collated and integrated on a common platform provided by KisanHub. This will facilitate performance benchmarking and allow seasonal crop progress monitoring.
It is planned that updates with photographs and aerial sensing will be posted on the website.