The first open day organised by Kings Game Cover and Conservation Crops at their new East Yorkshire crop demonstration site attracted more than 65 local farmers and gamekeepers. Those who attended were keen to learn about growing specialist crops for stewardship, conservation and game cover.
Clive Wood, local advisor for Kings, who helped organise the August event said:
"This is our first year at the site, so it's great to have so many people come along. The thinking behind establishing these plots is so that growers can come and see what's happening throughout the season. For example, for farmers, it's a completely different situation to growing arable crops and often a little additional technical advice can make all the difference to a crop's success.
"And when things get challenging, as they have with the terrible weather this summer, we can use this site to show how we manage a crop through the problems. The rain and increased pest numbers have proved a threat to crops recently - but with practical advice and careful management there have been ways to improve crops' fortunes."
Kings hopes that seeing how they manage the challenges here at their own site and sharing in their expertise in this specialist crop management will give growers the confidence to increase the area of land they allocate for cover and stewardship crops and improve the biodiversity of their land. "And that has to be a good thing," added Mr Wood.
At the site Kings has established a range of autumn and spring sown game cover and stewardship crops. Displays include:
- Wild bird seed mixtures (autumn and spring sown)
- Wild flower, nectar flower and grass margin options
- Spring and summer sown game cover crops
- Innovative work using green cover and catch crops to control soil borne pests
- Crop protection, seed treatment and foliar feed trials.
More information about Kings is available at www.kingscrops.co.uk.