Using legume-based mixtures to enhance the nitrogen use efficiency and economic viability of cropping systems.
Contract period:1 December 2009 to 29 February 2012
Contact staff at ORC:Dr. Thomas Döring
The overall aim of the project is to improve nitrogen use efficiency in UK arable systems. It aims to create a legume based mixture (LBM) that can have significantly improved resilience in fertility building and nitrogen release dynamics compared to the traditional grass/clover mixtures, over a range of environmental conditions.
By studying the growth parameters of individual legume species, and grasses in field trials, and the mixture of all trial species (the all species mixture - ASM) in participatory trials, we will better understand the potential, and the mechanisms by which a designed LBM may increase the profitability of UK arable systems, and have robust data on which to base the development of commercial seed mixes.
ORC is leading the project and conducting field trials on its field site in Suffolk (Wakelyns Agroforestry) and on an additional site (Barrington Park, Gloucestershire).
An interim summary of key messages from the project here (PDF 621KB).
Project leader and partners
Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IBERS)
Rothamsted Research Ltd
Scottish Agricultural College (SAC)
The Arable Group (as part of NIAB-TAG)
The Organic Studies Centre at Duchy College
Industry partnersAbacus Organic Services Ltd
Institute of Organic Training and Advice (IOTA)
Organic Farmers & Growers Ltd
Progressive Farming Trust Ltd
SAC Commercial Ltd
Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) Ltd
Soil Association Certification Ltd.
The Arable Group
Organic Seed Producers Ltd.
Soil Association Ltd.
Döring T, Crowley O, Pearce H, Storkey J, Brown R, Jones H. 2011. A win-win for legume mixtures (PDF 310KB). Organic Farming 108: 40-41
Döring TF, Crowley O, 2011. Pick and Mix. The Organic Research Centre Bulletin 106 (PDF 1.23MB): 13-14
Döring T F. 2011. Nitrogen supply characteristics of ley and green manure species. 5th Organic Producers’ Conference, 17.-18. January 2011, Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire, UK
Storkey J, Döring T, Baddeley J, Marshall A, Roderick S, Jones H. 2011. Modelling the ability of legumes to suppress weeds (PDF 227KB). Aspects of Applied Biology 109: 53-58.
Henly S. 2011. Legumes help raise soil productivity. Crops March 2011, published by HGCA.
JA Baddeley, Döring T, Hatch DJ, Marshall AH, Pearce B, Roderick S, Stobart RM, Storkey J, Watson CA, Wolfe M. 2010. Using legume-based mixtures to enhance the nitrogen efficiency and economyc viability of cropping systems SAC-SEPA Biennial conference.