Riverford Investing in Farmer-Led Research

A call for growers to join Riverford field labs

Riverford have always been ahead of the curve

Now, they’ve decided to back farmer-led research by investing in three field labs. They’re hosting a meeting on 23 November to kick off the field labs and are calling for other growers to join them.

The trials will be coordinated from their HQ in Devon and led by Assistant Farm Manager, Ed Scott, but they’re open to everyone. Growers can either join the group and replicate the trials on their own farms, or they can learn from what happens at Riverford. Either way, come along to the first meeting to work with the researcher and get involved in designing the trials.

Hot topics

The three topics the group plan to tackle are: 

  • Using home-made comfrey liquid for feeding fruiting crops. Riverford will be trialling on tomatoes, but any fruiting crops can be considered. They’ll be looking for yield difference from the feed and perhaps comparing the results to standard organic commercial liquid feed, such as seaweed.
  • Using hot water treated seed to tackle Alternaria leaf spot on leaf beet– The group will be comparing treated and untreated seed to measure differences in disease resistance.
  • Zone tillage. The group will be planting transplants into an existing green manure cover. The exact crop hasn’t been decided yet, but they’re considering courgettes, brassicas and maize. In November, they’ll decide on what to measure but will consider soil health, reduction in other inputs, lower tillage, and identifying potential improvement or reduction in yield.


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