The Sustainability Trial in Arable Rotations (STAR) is a long-term fully replicated field-based study which started in 2005. Long-term rotation studies are rare in our industry but they provide powerful agronomic and financial information for UK farmers. The research examines the interaction between four different cultivation methods and four crop rotations on a heavy Hanslope soil type, using farm-scale equipment on large field plots.
Download the STAR Open Day flyer for more info and directions
Following the break crop season last year the STAR Project is in winter wheat again. The focus of the event this year will be on agronomic management in wheat, long term project findings and soils.
STAR's long term data continues to show differences in yield and margin across the rotation, but findings are now clearly showing that winter wheat yields are much more resilient to primary cultivation systems than other crops in the study.
Nathan Morris (NIAB TAG soils and systems expert) will discuss some of these long term trends and, along with Liz Stockdale (Newcastle University), will consider some of the impact seen from systems on soil structure and biology.
In addition the choice of Siskin this year as our winter wheat variety has proven to be a popular choice; Andrew Watson (NIAB TAG Regional Agronomist) will be talking about variety management options for wheat.
Winter wheat also provides an opportunity to discuss grass weed management for strategies both within season and rotationally. John Cussans (NIAB TAG weed expert) will be on hand to talk about both STAR and some of our wider research in this area.
As well as the STAR Project Suffolk is also lucky to support the long term phosphate site at Saxmundham. This study goes back over 100 years and compares the long term use of manures and bagged fertilisers. Working with TMAF and local farmers, NIAB TAG has recently brought this site back into service and an update on recent results and findings will be presented.