Agronomics image

Agronomics is the science of understanding the variation in the cropped environment, identifying the management practices and system designs that work. It uses a farm centric approach of shared farm data and on-farm experimentation.

Crop performance varies hugely within and between fields and farms. For example, AHDB Recommended List wheat variety trials typically range from <6 to >16 t/ha, where variation between varieties is <1 t/ha. Despite the principal drivers of growth (light, water & temperature) being expounded in the 1970s we still fail to explain or predict the vast majority of this variation.

Within field variation is a major challenge to running fair and accurate on-farm experiments. As part of the Agronomics line trials service, ADAS use bespoke software to clean and statistically analyse yield maps and other spatial data, modelling and taking into account the underlying spatial variation.

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ADAS provides ideas, specialist knowledge and solutions to secure our food and enhance the environment. We understand food production and the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations operating in the natural environment

Farm-centric research generally involves On-Farm Experimentation and may be better described as 'Farm Action Research', i.e. research conducted at least in part by and for beneficiaries who also farm. 

On Farm Experimentation (OFE) is increasingly being recognised as having transformative power in improving performance in agricultural systems across the world.

Farmers, advisors and researchers working together to understand and improve crop nutrition on-farm

The ideas behind Farm-PEP came together in ~2018, drawing from the developments of Agronomics, the YENs, AHDB's Monitor Farm programme and the idea of a 'What Works' Centre for Agriculture. 

EIP-Agri Project supporting groups of YEN farmers to test specific ideas.

Inferring the right conclusions from field trials is important - how confident can you be that a result is 'real' rather than due to the underlying noise? As part of the Farm-PEP FIP project we are working with BGS to explore the best ways to communicate confidence, uncertainty, significance, probability and value with farmers and growers.

Farmer Innovation Group as part of the YEN Yield Testing EIP Agri project Amino acids have been widely reported in the farming press and in a few scientific papers to be biostimulants, but with little or no independent evidence from UK field conditions. This Amino Acid FIG was established to put that right, making eight tests in 2018 and five more in 2019.

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Driving Decision Making for Efficient & Sustainable Agricultural Production ADAS Digital Decision Support encompasses the way in which we use digital data and digital technology to deliver solutions in crop production, sustainable food and farming, land management and ecology to our clients.

Our vision for Farm-PEP was summarised at a conference addressing "On-Farm Experimentation" (at M

Final report from the Automating Nitrogen Defra LINK project 2010-2015 with AHDB, ADAS, AgLeader,

Video from the On Farm Experimentation conference (OFE21) in Montpellier in October 2021

Defra Sustainable Arable LINK project from 2010 to 2015 that aimed to produce an automated system using precision farming technologies for N management of cereals, but ended up changing the whole way we think about nitrogen, yields, experimentation, research, variation & knowledge.

AHDB project from 2014-2018 working with farmers to monitor and optimise their nitrogen fertiliser rates on-farm.  

Farmer Innovation Group as part of YEN Yield Testing project on achieving Deeper Rooting. Encouragement of deep burrowing earthworms might enhance yields by enabling deeper rooting, and capture of more sub-soil water.

Farmer Innovation Group from the YEN as part of the YEN Yield Testing Project. The idea of crop momentum arose because high yields in the YEN associated with little-and-often applications, or ‘attention to detail’. Also, two interacting factors are thought to drive crop growth: assimilate supply (source), and assimilate storage capacity (sink). It was suggested that the initial source may affect the sink at the next stage; so increasing initial growth may enhance subsequent growth, creating ‘momentum’.

The INNO-VEG project aims to increase the speed and uptake of innovation in the field vegetable and potato sectors by: Defining and implementing a new approach for delivering cost-effective research. Establishing a cross border innovation network which will create the framework conditions for innovation to facilitate uptake of the new approach.

BASF Real Results Circle (https://basfrealresults.co.uk/) has been running since 2017, bringing together 50 farmers and supporting them to test decisions on-farm.

Group coming out of the YEN looking at ways to increase deep rooting, by encouraging deep burrowing earthworms.

Farmer Innovation Group as part of YEN Yield Testing EIP Agri project testing spring potassium fertiliser applications

Paper by Ben Marchant et al in Field Crops Research 2019 describing the statistics approach devel

Paper presented at 2018 International Conference Precision Agriculture describing results from th

Progress towards sustainable intensification depends on effective exchange of knowledge and data

Paper presented by Roger Sylvester-Bradley at European Conference on Precision Agriculture in 201

Paper from European Conference Precision Agriculture 2017 on the Auto-N Chessboard trials, which

Paper at the European Society of Agronomy in 2016: The challenge facing agriculture

Paper by Roger Sylvester-Bradley presented at International Conference Precision Agriculture 2019

Paper presented by Roger Sylvester-Bradley at ECPA 2019 on understanding the variaton in yield, h

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