Integrated cropping system

Soil Improve structure for better:
  • Soil water/temp conditions
  • Microbial and soil invert activity
  • Rooting depth and architecture
  • Reducing losses to the environment

  • Conservation tillage: direct drill for cereals and beans, non-inversion tillage for oilseed rape, standard soil cultivation for potato
  • Carbon amendments: municipal green waste compost @10 t ha-1, straw incorporation instead of baling, cover cropping (oil radish before potatoes, rye after beans, before spring barley)
  • Tied-ridging in potatoes tramlines
Plant nutrients Reduce reliance on mineral fertiliser and increase resource use efficiency to:
  • To reduce GHG emissions and carbon footprint
  • Improve plant health to increase resilience to pests and disease
  • Maintain yields with less non-renewable inputs

  • Soil management (as above)
  • Under-sown clover in winter oilseed rape (berseem) and spring barley (white) to increase inputs of renewable N to the system
  • Cover cropping to retain plant nutrients over winter
  • Mineral N rates calculated on the basis of soil nutrient supply
  • Soil and NDVI mapping for variable rate fertiliser application
  • Biofortification using mineral applications to reduce fungicide inputs
  • Test and select varieties with better resource use efficiency under low input systems
Biodiversity Enhance microbial, plant and invertebrate biodiversity for ecosystem services
  • Viable pollinator populations for enhanced pollination of insect pollinated crops
  • Predation and parasitism for sustainable control of crop pests
  • Carbon and nutrient cycling and enhanced nutrient availability through beneficial microbial activity

  • Targeted weed control for a diverse dicot, but non-competitive in-field weed understorey
  • IPM options to reduce requirement for crop protection inputs (e.g. blight forecasting, disease resistant varieties, dose response curves and thresholds)
  • diverse field margins to support pollinators and natural enemies

Blight forecast