25 January 2018
Trees on livestock farms

AFINET meeting - Shropshire

30 January 2018
Intercropping field lab

An opportunity to develop research questions, identify synergies and determine what to trial



19 December 2017
ORC Bulletin 123 on its way!

And Bulletin 122 available for free download

11 December 2017
Soil Farmer of the Year competition

Entries open for 2018



7 December 2017
Intercropping opportunities

Farmers invited to take part in diverse cropping project to increase yields

Impacts of organic silvoarable systems on pest and disease distribution – Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Berkshire

Contract period:

1 March 2010 to 28 August 2010

Main funder:

University of Reading/ORC

Contact staff at ORC:

Dr. Jo Smith

Project aims

Tom Pinkham, an MSc student from University of Reading, worked with us on his research thesis to investigate the influence of tree rows on an ecosystem service - pest and disease control. He measured the influence of tree/hedgerow strips on microclimate and soil characteristics at various distances from the tree rows into the middle of the crop alleys, and in a neighbouring open field. Assessments of major pests and/or diseases, and crop assessments, were carried out in the crop alleys and compared with levels in monocropped fields. Analyses identified higher air temperatures, moister soils, and lower wind speeds when compared to control system. Weed cover was 7% higher in the agroforestry system, and aphids and Ramularia were also higher in the agroforestry crop. However, there was no significant difference in crop damage levels between the agroforestry system and control field.

ORC's role

Supervisory