Kings to demonstrate 18 cover crop plots at Groundswell
Returning as an official partner for Groundswell, cover crop experts Kings will be providing advice and an array of cover crop displays at this year’s event.
Their demonstrations will showcase both treated and untreated plots, crop mixes that support integrated pest management programmes and options which meet Ecological Focus Area (EFA) catch and cover crop requirements.
Of particular interest this year is the opportunity to look at how mycorrhiza and rhizobacter systems can be incorporated within green cover to support soil health for crops within the wider rotation. Mixes on display will include Kings’ Short Summer Blend, Nematode Reducer and Soil Structure Mix, with species such as radish, black oat, phacelia, turnip rape and buckwheat included.
Cover crops have a wide range of benefits to suit individual farm circumstances. For example, the Kings Nematode Reducer Mix is EFA compliant and has been specifically created to target soil borne pests through a combination of 95% Defender oil radish and 5% black oat. Kings Soil Structure mix is designed to add large volumes of organic matter and is made up of deep-rooting species that help improve soil structure.
Speaking of the event, Kings sales manager, Richard Barnes explains, “The tour of our 18 demonstration plots will bring together the multitude of benefits associated with cover crops. It will include discussions around the on-farm requirements for meeting EFA catch and cover crop options, how cover crops can help with integrated soil borne pest management and the opportunities available for integrating grazing.
“We’re really excited to showcase our comparative plots with and without the addition of mycorrhiza fungi too. We’ll also be looking at straight crops through to multi-species options and how to support soil health through stewardship schemes. Everything and anything will be up for discussion!”
Paul Brown, Kings eastern technical advisor and Clive Wood, Kings business development manager and northern technical advisor will both be speaking at the event. Visitors will also get to witness different machinery manufacturers work their way through the field-scale green cover crops. Richard comments, “With the crops having been direct-drilled themselves, it’s a great way to bring the discussion full circle. Visitors will get insight into the practical implementation of the Groundswell approach to profitable and sustainable farming.”
Kings works alongside Frontier Agriculture and SOYL to support growers at all stages of their soil health projects. With a trials network as part of Frontier’s 3D thinking programme (Discovery, Development and Demonstration), Kings is heavily involved in on-farm testing and the ongoing observation of cover crops. Among this is a three year project with the James Hutton Institute and ongoing collaborative work with the Game and Wildlife Conservation. All mixtures are designed and produced by Kings and are fully proven in the UK.
Groundswell takes place 27-28 June at Lannock Manor Farm in Hitchin. Kings can be found on the Roadshott Field and advisors will be on hand to discuss variety choice, establishment, management and destruction to help you select the best option and ultimately improve your future profits.
Find out more about Groundswell here.