Project Lamport 2019

Beyond blackgrass control

For 2019, Project Lamport investigated:

  • Long-term rotational systems to control blackgrass and improve soil health
  • The best combination of cover crops and cultivations
  • A comprehensive, replicated research project looking at the impact of cultivations, compaction and cover crops on soil structure, organic matter and microbiology

The site included plots for:

  • Spring oats
  • Winter oilseed rape and companion plants
  • Cover crops and biologicals
  • Compaction study

Compaction study

In 2019, one aim was to explore the relationship between roots and metal, comparing how the factors interact across a range of autumn-sown covers ahead of established spring crops.

This was demonstrated through the root verses iron research project: Investigating the root verses iron philosophy with the application of cover and companion plants for building soil health, crop yield and managing blackgrass control in a spring wheat production system.

Results showed that fewer worms existed in disturbed soil and moisture was reduced. Cover crops improved aggregation and infiltration rates improved, whilst resistance and bulk density was affected by tillage.

Other work

Depleting the blackgrass seed-bank – ongoing work to show the positive impact of consecutive spring cropping on controlling high populations of blackgrass on heavy-land farms.

Environmental – studies on wildflower margin management to help farmers optimise their response to future support payment requirements.

Biologicals – examining the benefits of mycorrhiza inoculants (beneficial fungi that grow with plant roots) on plant nutrition and soil biology.

Nutrition – answering the question, is it necessary to compensate for the lack of soil N mineralisation in no-till systems?

Cabbage stem flea beetle – investigating the concept that OSR establishment improves when companion crops are grown, helping to reduce the impact of CSFB. 

Surprise results for 2019:

Customer perspective: