Could you run a farm scale trial in 2018? (Direct Driller Issue 1 - Article 9)

Could you run a farm scale trial in 2018?

We as farmers are constantly being told about trial results, but as they say, there is nothing like trying things yourself on your own farm. Many of you out there are indeed already doing this, but what we would like to see is people sharing these results so other farmers can use that information on their farm. One example of this was @Clive Bailye’s trial of Adexar® and Librax® verses both his on farm standard and Aviator® Xpro. This was reported, live, as part of a thread on The Farming Forum, so other farmers could see what decisions he was making at any time and talk about exactly how his trial was taking shape. This included the prices various products were purchased for to properly analyse what the profit was from each different trial plot.


Clive will say that he was sceptical of BASF’s claim of an extra £20 a hectare margin using their products, but his own trial showed exactly this. For Clive, on his farm in Staffordshire in drought prone soils, T1 Adexar® and T2 Librax® gave an extra 0.43 t/ha and £57/ha margin over Aviator® Xpro. It also returned a greater margin than his farm standard as well. However, behind the scene’s BASF also asked a number of other farmers to run the trial as well. These weren’t reported live, like Clive did, but the results all help farmers build a picture.

3 other Farmers, Nigel Durdy, Russ McKenzie and Conor Colgan also ran field scale trials in 2016. In 2017, BASF widened the challenge to 50 farms. Bayer also ran their own programme of 50 farmer led field trials in 2017 called Judge for Yourself.

All of the BASF results can be found in more detail at and all of the Bayer Results can also be read about on The Farming Forum and some results here:

While one set of results often doesn’t help a farmer reading them, putting these results together, gives farmers a lot of different soil types and farm practices to compare against their own to try and deduce whether they would see the same sort of gains. And that’s the real goal here, to give farmers as much information as possible to make on farm decisions. ADAS’s @DanielKindred has been helping to put together different farmers research under the umbrella of Agronomics So we would like to see more on farm trials, with farmers reporting them live on Twitter, their own websites or The Farming Forum.

Where farmers set out an aim or a “challenge” and then report on it through the year. It doesn’t have to be fungicides, it could be comparing two drills, the fuel economy of two tractors, the work rate of two combines, different drilling dates, really whatever trials you think would benefit “your” on farm decisions. These trials can then be shared with other farmers and we all get more information to make our decisions on. So if you think you have an idea for an on-farm trial in 2018, then we would like to hear from you and we will help it be a reality.

So please send your ideas to us at [email protected]

Note: You can read all of Issue 1 as a digital copy here.

New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

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New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

Written by Defra Press Office

A wide river is in view in a valley in the background, a drystone wall is behind the river, and large, green trees are prominent in the scene.

The Rivers Trust has today launched its State of Our Rivers report aiming to allow the English public understand and explore the health of their rivers on a national and local scale.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow and Environment Agency Director John Leyland attended the launch panel to discuss the ways in which the...