The Sustainability Trial in Arable Rotations (STAR) is a long-term fully replicated field-based study which started in 2005.
- NEW to the rotation is a 3 year herbal ley to explore ways to boost soil fertility in arable rotations
- The research examines the interaction between four different cultivation methods and four crop rotations on a heavy Hanslope soil type.
- The project uses farm scale equipment on large field plots.
- Long-term rotation studies are rare in our industry but they provide powerful agronomic and financial information for UK farmers.
STAR Project Overview
- The STAR project is a long-term rotational systems study examing the interaction between four different rotations and four different cultivation methods.
- The impact of rotation and cultivation on weed burden, soil structure and mycotoxin risks are becoming increasingly apparent as the study progresses.
- Considering yields over all crops in the rotation, the difference between cultivation systems is small. The plough-based cultivation system is tending to give the highest yields but margin is barely distinguishable across systems.
- Tillage decisions seem to be more critical in break crops. Rotational choices have tended to have a bigger impact on margin than primary tillage decisions; with winter cropping rotations giving the higher margins.
STAR Online Seminar 2021
Following the wheat in 2020 the STAR project was in a break cropping year in 2021. The seminar was split into two subject areas, with the following speakers;
Host: Nathan Morris
Agronomy: Roger Vickers, PGRO and Patrick McKenna, NIAB
Soils: Joseph Martlew, Cranfield University and Philip Wright, Wright Resolutions Ltd
The STAR project is supported by The Morley Agricultural Foundation, The Felix Thornley Cobbold Trust and, historically, The Chadacre Agricultural Trust. The STAR project continues to contribute to wider collaborative research and is used as a platform for educational studies at both under-graduate and post-graduate level.
This open event is provided as part of the Morley LoTS initiative; NIAB TAG working with The Morley Agricultural Foundation and Morley Farms to deliver a unique and impartial agronomy focused training, research and education capability in East Anglia.