Biological alternatives to chemical pesticides can be used to help deliver comparable wheat yields, according to new ground-breaking research backed by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
The use of so-called ‘bioprotectants’ can reduce the environmental impacts associated with chemicals, and it is hoped that a recent series of trials involving spring and winter wheat varieties could be developed into a viable, widespread solution for growers in the future.
The breakthrough Crop Health North project has been carried out by The Farmer Scientist Network (FSN), a group supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society that brings together farmers and scientists to find scientific and technological solutions to agricultural challenges.
Undertaken over three years across field sites at Stockbridge Technology Centre and Newcastle University’s Nafferton and Cockle Park Farms, the trials using bio-protectants have been funded through the EU’s European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI).
The trials found that wheat can be produced using biocontrol technologies, alone or in combination with conventional crop chemistry, whilst still obtaining similar yields and grain quality.
For further information about this initiative, visit www.crophealthnorth.co.uk.