A meeting not to be missed by any organic farmer.
We are now into our third year of successful meetings. For this meeting we are making a return visit to Mains of Thornton (the ex-organic monitor farm) courtesy of Ian Cooper & Partners.
There will be an arable focus to the meeting. Murray Cooper (the host farmer) is trying out a range of different cropping techniques and crops. This is an ideal opportunity to see the systems in a real farm situation and to discuss the pros and cons. We will see spring barley; winter oats (grown for seed); an undersown spring barley and vetch mix for arable silage; spring oilseed rape and mixtures of winter barley, beans and oilseed rape (quarter rate barley beans/full rate osr, half rate barley/beans/full rate osr, 3/4 rate barley/beans full rate osr and osr on its own). All the crops have been sown in a band at an 8cm row spacing using a modified one pass machine. He has also tried min till in a couple of fields and has invested in GPS auto steer and bought an 8m System Cameleon which is camera guided and can inter-row weed, sow or fertilise. He hopes to set up a plough 1 year in 7 system.
Dr. Robin Walker, Research Agronomist, SRUC, who has done work on intercropping and crop mixtures and was with Murray on the RISS trip to Sweden looking at organic oilseed rape, will be there to give us the benefit of his experience and join in the discussion.
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