Research - Current projects
Baseline monitoring of organic vegetable systems with differing fertility building periods project(OF 0332)
Aims:The organic units at HRI Wellesbourne (Hunts Mill) and at HRI Kirton have been measured throughout their conversion as part of Projects OF0126T and OF0191. This collaborative project with Warwick-HRI and the Organic Advisory Service at Elm Farm Research Centre, has the overall aim of providing baseline information about the performance of organic vegetable cropping systems in the post-conversion period. It will address both agronomic issues (such as soil fertility and the selection of appropriate fertility building strategies, weed control and pest and disease incidence) and economics of production. The work will assist UK farmers to meet the demand for organic produce and to provide a firm scientific basis for all policy decisions.
The project will also ensure that the Hunts Mill and Kirton organic units remain as a resource for future organic farming research. They are particularly valuable as trial grounds because they are available together with detailed background information about cropping and performance that was gathered during the conversion projects. At Hunts Mill the three basic rotations with their contrasting approaches to fertility building will be continued. The cropping at Kirton, on a much more fertile soil, will mirror one of these strategies.
The information collected will be collated with that obtained from these sites within the earlier conversion projects to provide comprehensive documentation for the sites. A number of measures will be undertaken to raise awareness about the value of this resource including workshops and open days (for researchers, advisors and growers) and by forging closer links with other organic systems studies.