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.
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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