The Centre for Sustainable Cropping comprises a 42 hectare block of six fields in the south-east of Balruddery Farm. The effects of the integrated cropping systems are tested relative to standard commercial practice using a split-field design over multiple six year rotations.

CSC field layout - view

Ariel view of CSC site at Balruddery

Each half field (assigned to either conventional or integrated management) is planted with two crop varieties to test varietal response to change in management. An additional 18 m strip along each edge of each half field is available for plot-scale experiments.

Across the whole site there are a total of 360 permanent GPS locations at which key arable systems indicators are monitored throughout each growing season.

CSC field plan

Site maps are available to download in PDF format for: 2016/17, 2015/16, 2014/15, 2013/14, 2012/13 and 2011/12.


Crop rotation:​ Although not a typical rotation, these crops were selected to ensure relevance of our results to industry by including the most commonly grown crops in the Tayside region and those that form the basis of much of the crop research at the JHI.

In the baseline years 2009 and 2010, all 6 fields were sown with maize to even out some of the within-field variation due to previous cropping histories and to provide a C4 input to the soil for an initial measure of carbon turnover.

CSC Platform Cropping History

Road Middle East Den South Estate Kennels Pylon
2020Rotation continues as of 2017 onwards…

In the first rotation (2010/11 to 2016), 5 different cultivars of each crop were sown in 18m wide strips in each half field to assess differences in cultivar response to the reduced input system.

​ In the second rotation (2016/17 to 2022), 2-3 cultivars are compared over larger blocks in each half field to allow more commercially realistic crop management and better assessment of the spatial variation across the fields.

​ Crop varieties are selected to include one industry standard to compare against varieties with a range of environmental traits – resource use efficiency, weed suppression, disease resistance etc.

Click here to download an Excel sheet containing the lists of cultivars tested