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July 18, 2018 / 1:58 AM / 8 months ago

Sygenta and You

You're a pain in the butt...

Potato and root vegetable growers could better utilise unproductive field headlands to deliver significant environmental enhancements, as well as protect valuable soil and water resources, according to Dr Max Newbert, Syngenta Field Technical Specialist.

At this year’s Potato Science Live events, he reported that Syngenta Operation Pollinator research, in conjunction with ASDA, had demonstrated clear improvements in soil protection and structure on areas sown using a Green Headland seed mix alongside crops, along with the opportunity to reduce nutrient leaching. 

The Green Headland Mix (pictured below), developed by seed specialists, Kings, incorporates vetches, clover, phacelia and radish. Sown in late spring to achieve fast growth, it generated 36 tonnes/ha of green organic matter over the summer, including capturing 106 kg N/ha, that would help improve soil structure and fertility.

The cover crop can help to trap and retain soil movement in the field, whilst the rooting acts to stabilise the soil surface and protect from damage by tractors and irrigation equipment through the crop’s growing operations, advocated Dr Newbert.

Furthermore, independent insect monitoring of the ecologically enhanced Green Headland sites in 2017 sampled 41,000 invertebrates, involving 312 different species. Of those, 60 species were identified as being positive pollinators for crops and 113 known to be predators or parasitoids during their life cycle, including targeting crop pests.


Chris Brown, ASDA Senior Director of Sustainable Sourcing (above), highlighted the project demonstrated the good stewardship of farmland by growers. “This initiative highlights the efforts of UK growers to work towards increasing biodiversity and protecting resources. 

“Planting up Green Headlands is a genuinely sustainable solution. It can offer a simple, cost effective and time efficient option to make better use of a hitherto unused area of land, that will improve the environment and to protect soil and water.”



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Sustainability @ Syngenta
Sustainability @ Syngenta To be or not to be...that is the question. And it hasnt been answered for centuries...

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