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  • Writer's picturePhilip


New Year’s Day was some while ago and although the month of January is never busy with field work the days are pretty full with other important considerations.

Each year the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) hold their conference. Over the last few years, mainly as a result of COVID, this has been an online event.

The three days cover a wide variety of topics from AICC agchem product trials to fertiliser management and on the last day information from Lord Benyon, Minister of State for Rural affairs.

What did I learn?

AICC runs a large agrochemical trials programme throughout England testing new and old products to establish or confirm what is working best on farm. This is then available for comparison with work presented by Jonathan Blake (ADAS) and Stephen Kildea (TEAGASC – Ireland.)

Variety blends. Possibly work carried out by Revive Agronomy clients in Gloucestershire over the last 10+ years is ahead of the trials work reported by NIAB.

Bio-stimulants. All that glitters is not gold. There is “Truth” in the statements but converting “Truth” into cash... well maybe Cheltenham Gold Cup in March 2023 would be more consistent and reliable.

YEN and now PEP. Unless you take account of in field variability (reported by the HGCA 2003) the results currently achieved or published can be “misleading.”

Beet. An interesting new pest for 2022, Beet Moth. Has this predisposed the crop to more “frost” damage this year or is it just a fact that when temperatures hit -10 degrees centigrade beet suffer.

Greenhouse gasses. The value of buying Urease inhibitors for commercial farming as well as the environment.

Macro Nutrients.

Phosphate and Potash, Nitrogen and Sulphur. Trials demonstrating how much is needed as well as data around the much touted “Break-even point” for application rates in commercial farming.

Finally; the weather. A helpful look at weather forecasting, accuracy and reliability provided by Dr Simon Keeling.

Well done the AICC!


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