12 September 1997

Decisions based on local knowledge hard to beat

On-farm trials results are fresh in the mind of our Eastern Barometer farmer in this the first of our autumn revisits. Andrew Blake reports

LOCAL knowledge derived from variety and product tests on ones own land is hard to beat, says Eastern Barometer farmer Philip Godfrey.

Detailed information on the performance of 25 winter wheats

LOCAL knowledge derived from variety and product tests on ones own land is hard to beat, says Eastern Barometer farmer Philip Godfrey.

Detailed information on the performance of 25 winter wheats and some of the latest fungicides on heavy land at Wood Farm, Bluntisham, Hunts, this year have left Philip and brother, Michael, well placed to make sound decisions for the coming season.

Despite the specific nature of the findings, Mr Godfrey is reluctant to divulge too much to a wider audience. Hard-won data is increasingly valuable, he explains. "Trials like these cost quite a bit to set up and run."

That said, key pointers emerging have already been acted upon. Others may influence the farms husbandry next spring.

WOOD FARM TRIALS

&#8226 Equinox, Malacca & Abbot wheats encouraging.

&#8226 Rialto consistently good.

&#8226 Half-dose strobilurins well worthwhile.

&#8226 Quinoxyfen less rewarding.

Subsoiling is a key autumn operation at Wood Farm, where ploughing all too easily creates a pan. Swivels on the Godfrey brothers new five-leg Stocks Lift ensure the machine encourages natural cracking just below plough depth rather than forcing a passage, says Michael (right), who uses a homemade probe to check for compaction.