On Tuesday, 5th July, around 25 farmers, agronomists and researchers gathered at a farm in East Yorkshire, northern England, to hear about the InnoVar project and walk round the ADAS trial. ADAS researchers and InnoVar project partners, Dr Sarah Clarke and Dr Kate Storer described the InnoVar project and the contribution ADAS is making; ADAS is hosting one of the bread wheat trials over three seasons and is also developing a new variety recommendation system using the High Performance Low Risk concept including variety resilience and sustainability.
The trial is examining 30 varieties, all under 3 fungicide/PGR regimes: Full, Optimised (farm standard), and Minimal (no fungicide or PGR. The varieties include UK varieties, Agroclimatic-zone specific varieties (including Irish and Swiss varieties), and EU-wide control varieties (including Italian, Hungarian, Spanish and Danish varieties). The farmers were interested to hear that the yields of the non-UK varieties without fungicides were often low, apart from a Danish variety. They also heard that the Optimised treatment was a lot more cost-effective than the Full fungicide treatment, as it controlled disease relatively well but cost significantly less. It was evident from the plots in the ground this year that the disease-susceptible varieties and treatments were similar to last season.