BBRO are working with 6 farms to explore the application of new technologies and agronomic practices at a commercial scale. 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.
Demonstration farms will also allow BBRO to work with growers to assess practices such as the use of cover crops and the use of different cultivation and tillage regimes which can only be assessed at a whole field and cross-rotational scale
Several beet crops grown on each of the Demonstration farms will be also be monitored and assessed closely across the season with the data collated and integrated on a common platform provided by KisanHub. This will facilitate performance benchmarking and some seasonal crop progress monitoring. Regular updating with photographs and aerial sensing will be posted on the website
The farm network will cover a range of soils types: Lincolnshire brash, silt, peaty loam, and a range of lighter soils such as sands, sandy loam and sandy clay loams.
On each BBRO 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 and may allow us to compare pest & diseases susceptibilities as well providing the opportunities to apply some differential treatments such nitrogen rates and foliar feeds and also to assess yields at different harvest dates. This aspect will provide some insight to variety X soil type X location interactions and how we may be able to ‘tailor’ crop management practice more precisely.