BASF, ADAS and AgSpace have launched a bold initiative to recruit 50 farmers from across the whole of the UK to undertake cereal profitability trials on their farms.
Entitled the Real Results Circle, farmers will join the 50-strong network and receive a detailed report on their farm’s output potential, based on detailed mapping and testing carried out by ADAS and AgSpace throughout the growing season.
In addition, partner farmers will be asked to put BASF’s cereal fungicides – Adexar and Librax – to the test on their own farms, under the vagaries of their own growing conditions and using their own kit.
“We’ve launched this initiative for two reasons,” says Tim Short, BASF’s UK Marketing Campaign Manager. “The first is that BASF, ADAS and AgSpace want to work with growers to understand what their farm potential is for their wheat crops, what’s holding yields back and what changes can be made to maximise returns.
“The second reason is that farmers have told us that there is nothing better than conducting trials on their own farms, so we want to give these 50 farmers the opportunity for this, with the expert support and advice from ADAS and AgSpace.
“As part of the initiative, we’ll ask farmers to put our cereal fungicides to the test, because we believe BASF’s SDHI chemistry, Adexar, Librax and other Xemium brands can outperform our competitor’s SDHIs, and we want farmers to put this belief to the test.”
All farmers accepted into the trials network will be visited by ADAS and AgSpace twice during the growing season to produce a report on the farm, including soil nutrient status and soil mapping, as well as in-season crop assessments, including yield prediction assessments.
As part of the Real Results Circle, farmers will also be given free product – Adexar for use at T1 and Librax or Adexar for use at T2.
At the end of the season, all partner farmers will be invited to a conference to hear the results from the season.
Mr Short said, “We’ll cover the costs of the BASF products, expertise and on-farm trials management, to prove Adexar / Librax delivers the highest yields and margins.”
Dr Daniel Kindred, Senior Research Scientist, ADAS, “Farmers will be deciding on what fungicide comparisons are to be made, what will be most relevant to them on their farm.
“We are involved to make sure the comparison is fair to start with and that the two areas of the field chosen are comparable. We know that there is spacial variation in fields and it is easy to come up with the wrong conclusion. We will be using statistical approaches we have developed and so, if there is a difference between treatments, we will be confident that this is due to the treatment rather than the inherent variation.
Across the 50 farms in different regions of the UK, you will then be able to see where you have the biggest effects and where you don’t have any effects. It will also be possible to see how certain situations, for example extremes of weather influence the treatments.”
Mr Short said, “Growers will discover a lot more than simply the best fungicide – they will get great insight into unlocking yield potential.”
Dr Kindred said, “As with the ADAS Yield Enhancement Network (YEN), we will be defining the yield potential for the crop based on site data; we will gather information on the soil and the weather at the site. We will also be taking grab samples to get a handle on how the treatment has had an effect on yield as well as calculating the Harvest Index (HI).
At the end of the trial, growers will get a detailed independent report on the crop, with results and yield potential/barriers.”
Those participating in the trial will also get an invitation to the exclusive Real Results Conference, where they can meet the 49 other farmers in the trial.
Dr Kindred said, “Joining this initiative gives you the best of both worlds, learning about your farm and also being part of something bigger, which gives you an idea of whether these effects are true across other situations and systems. It gives the result more validity.
We hope this will be the start of something, as over time we can begin to understand what is driving yields.”
Involvement is not limited to the 50 chosen farmers. Mr Short said, “If you aren’t one of the final 50 farmers, you can still be involved. By registering your interest, you’ll get access to the content and information from the 50 farmers selected and advice and information on how you can set up your own trials in a simple but effective way. You can also submit results to be benchmarked against other farm results of similar variety, soil type and establishment technique.”
To find out more and sign up to become part of the BASF Real Results Circle of growers, go to www.basfrealresults.co.uk.