21 November 2019
Agroforestry event in Melton Mowbray

A Win Win for Farm productivity and the Environment

3 December 2019
iSAGE training course and workshop

Innovations to improve sustainability in the sheep and goat sector

4 November 2019
Calling all UK Sheep farmers!

Survey on breed distribution and management

31 October 2019
Proceedings of the European Conference on Crop Diversification

Abstracts, presentations and workshop reports now online

21 March 2019
In adversity, what are farmers doing to be more resilient?

Opportunities, barriers and constraints in organic techniques helping to improve the sustainability of conventional farming


Fertility building leys field lab

16 September 2014

Fertility building leys and green manures: Field lab 3 at Abbey Home Farm, Burford Rd, Cirencester, GL7 5HF

This Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme field lab, facilitated by ORC's Mark Measures focuses on:

  • Increased forage yield
  • Improved nitrogen fixation and release to following arable crops
  • Resilience to variable environmental conditions
  • Benefit for bees and other pollinators

Meeting 3 - 16 September: At the final meeting at Abbey Home Farm, we will review farm experiences to date. We will also review plans and ideas for further research. This will also include a tour of ORC's OSCAR plots with some training provided on assessments.


10.00 Coffee
10.30 Introduction, John Newman (Abbey Home Farm manager), Richard Morris (Wimpole farm manager) and Mark Measures (facilitator)
10.45 Summary of farmer experience
11.00 Fertility Building Leys and Green Manures – what’s new? MM
11.30 Farm walk. Led by John Newman and Sally Westaway, (Organic Research Centre) to see Abbey Home Farm's diverse mixtures sown spring 2014.

  • How did Abbey Home Farm decide which species to grow?
  • Visit Red Clover diverse mixture and White Clover diverse mixture
  • Visit and report on the OSCAR trials (ORC)
  • Species identification, cover and yield assessment. JN, SW
  • Farmer field trials protocols SW and MM
1.00 Lunch
2.00 Research results on the use, persistence, feed value and yield of trefoil and benefits of diverse mixtures for yield, tannins and trace elements. Alan Hopkins (Independent grassland adviser)
2.40 Designing mixtures
3.00 Discussion and final conclusions of the DOFF Fertility Building Leys and Green Manures Field lab
4.00 Tea and finish

The ORC Leg LINK research project shows the potential for a major change in forage seed mixtures towards more diverse swards including specific legume species. Informed by research from IGER North Wyke and recent field research on crop yields at Reading University this series of three Field Labs will help you select mixtures for your farm:

  • Characteristics and selection of legume species including red and white clover, lucerne, black medic, trefoil, crimson clover and sainfoin
  • The importance of including grass species
  • Use of diverse mixtures for fertility building in arable rotations
  • Prepare for new Defra support for diverse mixtures in 2016

For more information click here or download programme here

Eventbrite - Field Lab: Fertility Building Leys – Third Meeting

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