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Integrated Crop Management Roadshow: Perth – Event Summary

11 December 2017

Integrated Crop Management – a more holistic approach that can benefit your farm yields

The Perth & Angus event of this roadshow was held at the Huntingtower Hotel during December.  There were a range of speakers who discussed greening, slug and leatherjacket control and concluded with a look into soil health and quality.

Greening Update

conference room full of farmers listening to a presentation

Upcoming changes to existing EFA options as well as two new options to be introduced this year; EFA Hedges and EFA Agroforestry were discussed.  The main changes include maintenance drainage will now be permitted in EFA fallow between 15th January and 15th March & EFA margins can now be grazed.  You can read the presentation slides from this section of the event here.

 

The key take home messages from this section of the meeting included that maps of EFA areas are now mandatory rather than recommended as previously and all farmers were encouraged to keep their EFA’s simple!

Pest control

Dr Andy Evans, a pests specialist gave a detailed presentation on common pests and how best to implement an Integrated Pest Management plan.a black slug gliding across winter grass

Slugs

  • Farmers were encouraged to assess the slug risk through the use of bait traps.
  • When using slug pellets, ensure that the maximum dose is not exceeded.
  • No metaldehyde pellets should be allowed to fall within a minimum of 10 metres of any field boundary or watercourse.
  • Refer to the Slug Pellet Calculator which can calculate the methaldehyde dose that different products will administer.

Leather JacketsA group of people standing outside looking at handfuls of soil as part of the integrated crop management meeting in Perth in December

  • Leatherjackets are an increasing problem, in particular in 1st year cereals after ploughing grass, or pure grass leys in high rainfall areas or poorly drained soils
  • Leatherjacket population forecasts will be released in Feb/March by SRUC and these will give an indication of the risk for that year.
  • Cultivations reduce populations of leatherjackets by approximately 50%, so the use of ploughing, harrowing or rolling can all help to reduce their numbers.

Download Andy’s presentation slides for more details.

Soil Health & Quality

Dr Bryan Griffiths gave an interactive presentation on soil health/quality and why it is important.  The value of measuring soil quality was highlighted and attention drawn to the abundance of information available on soil such as in the  ‘Valuing your Soils Booklet’  and the ‘Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure’ guide and farmers were encouraged to link physical observation with soil sample analysis.  You can read more about how to take a soil sample here and what the benefits to your business are of sampling here.  Download Bryan’s presentation slides to learn more.

 

Farming For a Better Climate logo


For more information on how to improve your soil health and  to read what other farmers have done visit Farming For a Better Climate.

 

 

Related Downloads
Valuing Your Soils – Practical Guidance for Scottish Farmers
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Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) Score Chart
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Farming For A Better Climate: Practical Guide – Soil Management
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Farming For A Better Climate: Practical Guide – Alleviating Soil Compaction
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Practical Guide: Soil sampling I – How to take a soil sample
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Practical Guide: Soil sampling II – Benefits to your business
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A group of people standing outside looking at handfuls of soil as part of the integrated crop management meeting in Perth in December

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