Novel biotechnology increasing sustainable crop production

Five months into our Innovate UK POSTCOVA trial and we are working our way through the trial protocols, with our glasshouse trials of Spring Wheat, Cauliflowers and Potatoes underway and the field Winter Wheat (var. Skyfall) trials at the Henfaes Research Centre in Bangor are beginning to grow away well and evenly.

Nitrogen application will begin soon and we are seeking to reduce N applications by 80 kgs/ha in our experimental plots compared to the conventional control plots and still achieve similar yields and milling quality results.

The glasshouse trials at Henfaes will soon begin their different Nitrogen application regimes where we will again look to reduce Nitrogen inputs by 60 kgs/ha against conventional standard and still achieve the same or better crop yield and quality.

Our vegetable field trial sites for Potatoes and Cauliflowers in Pembrokeshire have been selected by our project partners at Puffin Produce and a full soil analysis has been carried out using the OptiYield system, providing a full work-up of the baseline nutrient availability.

From this information, we have devised full nutritional programmes that are crop-specific, along with carrying out our outdoor cultivations and the marking out of individual plot sites, ready for planting.

In the coming months, we will be planting, setting up and undertaking N2O sensor readings along with carrying out qPCR soil microbial analysis, looking for development of both beneficials and pathogens.