Soils are degrading and affecting the long-term ability for farmers to keep up food production. Reducing compaction and erosion and increasing soil organic matter are the key focus areas of this topic.
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This meeting was for growers from Riverford and South Devon Organic Producers. At this meeting around 8 ideas for field labs were discussed and then narrowed down to 5 strong contenders. The coordinator helped to narrow down the ideas, one being the use of zone tillage to improve soil health and vegetable quality. The next step will be looking at the potential methods for these topics.
AttendedThe group met again with researcher Dominic Amos to discuss more of the intricacies of the field lab methods. There were some concerns about tilling on a steep slope, but balancing that with the need to use the field for vegetable growth and improve the soils. There were also discussions on how to best balance the needs of the farmers with the need to get a scientifically robust trial design to cover as much field variability as possible. One farmer decided to trial french beans, another squash and pumpkin and another curly kale. A fourth farmer will be contacted to decided on his crop.