New paper on farm network field-scale, cultivar evaluation of organic wheat

A new open access paper on our work on organic wheat variety trialling, arising out of the LIVESEED project, has been published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development.

Cultivar choice and post-emergence weed management strategies are determinants of organic wheat performance. Taller cultivars can suppress weeds better than modern dwarf cultivars. Photo: Mark Lea

Costanzo A, Amos D, Bickler C, Trump A (2021) Agronomic and genetic assessment of organic wheat performance in England: a field-scale cultivar evaluation with a network of farms. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 41, 54 (2021).

With a network of organic farmers we undertook a field-scale evaluation of 11 cultivars, integrated with an agronomic survey to raise evidence on organic wheat performance in real-farm, field-scale conditions. Besides climatic variation, crop-weed interactions appeared as the main driver of crop performance, with significant differences in cultivar weed suppressive abilities and in the effectiveness of post-emergence weed management strategies. To foster agroecological transition crop-weed relations, weed management strategies, and their effects on nutrient use efficiency should be addressed in wheat breeding and cultivar testing.

This work is being continued in the Livewheat project.

Keep up to date with ORC updates and fundraising appeals

Be the first to hear about the latest organic and agroecological research and get tips to improve your success with organic farming and land management with the ORC e-bulletin. Delivered to your inbox monthly.

Newsletter signup

By submitting this form, you’re agreeing for us to contact you by email about our research, knowledge exchange, policy support and fundraising. Your details will only be used by the Organic Research Centre in adherence with our Privacy Policy.

You’re free to change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting our friendly Supporters Team at