Karen Rial Lovera: Development of a low-input farming system in the South West of England
The UK is experiencing a decline of land area certified for organic production. As a result, both farmers and the environment will benefit from the development of a farming system which can emulate many of the advantages of organic farms but also provide greater yields and food quality by including inputs that are prohibited under organic farming.
Understanding what is defined as “low-input farming”, the significance of weed competition and the use of legumes in order to meet most of the plant nitrogen needs could help promote some of the benefits experienced organically, and therefore better inform farmers reverting from organic to conventional enterprise. Field trials are being conducted at the Royal Agricultural University’s Harnhill Manor Farm in Cirencester, UK, investigating the change from organic agricultural management to the use of a few targeted inputs. The research will provide information on the impact of the reversion on soil properties, wheat growth, weed and crop development and on how these management decisions influence crop establishment under reduced cultivation systems.
Download poster: Karen Rial Lovera CREST Symposium Poster 2013