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GREATsoils field day: Using green manures to optimise nitrogen availability...

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The Yew Tree

Grimshaw Lane

Ormskirk

L39 1PD

United Kingdom

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Green manures are central to building and maintaining soil fertility in sustainable horticultural systems. With dozens of species to choose from, the challenge for many growers is choosing the right ones for the job in the right proportions to ensure the nutrients are available to the following crop at the right time.

This field lab, also part of the Innovative Farmers programme, is led by the Molyneux Kale company, working with the Organic Research Centre. It compares three green manure mixes with varying proportions of different leguminous species, measuring their impact on the following Kale crop in terms of the availability of Nitrogen and other key nutrients. We will do so using both soil and tissue analysis, and validate a new system which will enable growers to carry out tissue analysis quickly and simply in the field.

This open day, the first of two planned for the project, will focus on the choice of mixture and management of the green manure crop, and will be held just before they are due to be incorporated.

More about GREATsoils | More about Innovative Farmers

Programme for the day

1:00 Lunch at the Yew Tree (provided)
1:45 Welcome and introductions - Tony Little
2:00 Introduction to GREATsoils and Innovative Farmers - Soil Association
2:15 Using green manures – An overview. - Alan Schofield
2:45 Optimising nitrogen availability: Background to the project - Chris Molyneux, Dominic Amos
3:15 Travel to Molyneux Farm
3:30 Farm Walk - Chris Molyneux
4:45 Closing discussion - Tony Little

Who should come? The workshops are aimed at growers, but may also be useful for farmers and advisors. We expect that growers will already have a basic understanding of the link between soil health and plant health and will be looking to understand more about this and how soil testing can be used to strengthen their growing system.

Workshops are open to all, however in the event of high demand, preference is given to AHDB levy payers and Associate Members. Find out more about the benefits of AHDB Associate Membership.


About the speakers
Chris Molyneux
runs the Molyneux Kale Company on 250 acres in South West Lancashire on land which has been in his family since the Norman Conquest. He decided to specialise in kale and has become one of the leading growers in the country and the only one in the UK to produce all year round. Innovation is central to his ethos, whether that’s developing new varieties for example by crossing spring greens with curly kale or experimenting with green manures.

Alan Schofield
has been an organic vegetable grower since 1982, starting as a share farmer and now running Growing with Nature in Lancashire with wife Debra and son Christopher. They work very closely with 4 other local organic growers to plan production to ensure the widest range of home grown produce is available to their customers. He has been involved with the Soil Association as chair of the Horticultural Standards Committee, on the UKROFS technical committee and, for the last 8 years, has been Chairman of the Organic Growers Alliance.

Dominic Amos
is a crops researcher at the Organic Research Centre, with a background in on-farm research and field trials. He works on the GREAT Soils project looking into soil assessment methods and on-farm green manure trials, crop and food diversity through ancient cereals and novel cropping, and agronomic screening of old cultivars and landraces of wheat and barley for their potential to be used in breeding programmes for low input and organic production.


Please email Simone Osborn at GREATsoils@soilassociation.org with any queries. Sign up here for GREATsoils updates.

For more information visit http://horticulture.ahdb.org.uk/great-soils

GREATsoils is a programme of work funded by AHDB Horticulture. Work includes projects CP 107; CP 107b; CP 107c and CP 107d. AHDB Horticulture project CP 107b is run by a consortium which includes Earthcare Technical Ltd, The Organic Research Centre and The Soil Association.

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The Yew Tree

Grimshaw Lane

Ormskirk

L39 1PD

United Kingdom

View Map

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