• Arable

England Compost Teas Group

The group consists mainly of farmers (Arable/Mixed/Livestock) based in south west England, with the host farmer based in Dorset. The group also contains advisors and researchers from the Organic Research Centre, SoilBioLab and Cranfield University, specialising in arable crops, compost and soil microbiology.

This group has developed after the first field lab on using compost teas completed trialling in 2016. The interesting results of the first field lab has prompted Hemsworth Farms to continue the trial to see what the longer term effects are. A wider network of farmers are involved in the group, interested in improving crop performance through optimising soil microbial life.

Group Topics

Testing bio-inoculants and stimulants

Products based on naturally occurring substances are appearing on the UK market claiming to be able to reduce the requirements for inputs for plant growth. How effective and practical are these products are in the field?

  • Latest Group Activity

    To see the latest activity please log-in (group members only).

  • Upcoming Meetups
  • Past Meetups

    Open group meeting -

    An open meeting will be held on Tuesday 13 March for the group plus any other interested farmers to hear about the trial as a whole over the last 3 years, and discuss what any next steps could look like.

    Please visit the eventbrite website to register for free:

    The agenda for the day is:

    10:30 Registration and refreshments

    11:00 Welcome and introduction

    11:05 Overview of the full 3 year trial incl. recent disease suppression results

    11:35 Experiences of other compost-tea users

    12:00 In light of the results and lessons learnt, what issues should a new trial address? Discussion including how to tackle practicalties and take next steps.

    13:00 Lunch

    14.00 Close

    Please email info@innovativefarmers.org with any queries. For more information on the Innovative Farmers Programme, please visit the innovativefarmers.org website.

    Organic Research Centre



    Farm Walk at Hemsworth Farm -

    This is a farm walk and not a group meeting, but all members are welcome to attend.

    Sophie Alexander will be talking about her experiences of the compost tea field lab and we will also be carrying out some field monitoring including comparative root growth.

    We will also be reviewing results so far from Hemsworth Farm for this year, including an opportunity to look at compost teas under the microscope.

    4.30pm: Delegates arrive. Biscuits and refreshments are served
    4.50pm: An overview of the Innovative Farmers programme
    5.00pm: The host provides an introduction to the farm
    5.15pm: Farm walk commences
    6.30/6.45pm: Depart

    I look forward to seeing you at this meeting.
    - Liz Bowles

    Hemsworth Farm

    Hemsworth House



    Compost tea harvest meet up -

    This field lab is open to non-members - please contact the coordinator to find out more.

    To book your place, please login to your account and RSVP on this page or on your Dashboard. Alternatively, visit


    At this field lab we will be reviewing all the monitoring data form the 2015 - 2016 cropping year at Hemsworth where three fields have been treated with compost teas and monitored through the growing year. Yield results will be presented together with further information on the practicalities of using compost tea.

    We will also be discussing how the field lab group goes forward from here. This is very much the opportunity for group members to shape how this group goes forward from here.

    Hemsworth Farms

    Dorset BH21 5BN



    Group meet up to discuss progress and updates -

    The research team at ORC and Cranfield will be presenting their results so far and the host Sophie will be giving her thoughts on how the compost tea trial is going in its second year.

    This is an open meeting - please RSVP via your log in or contact Jasmine on jblack@soilassociation.org, 0117 9874572 to attend.

    Hemsworth Farm



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