Project Timeline2017-06-06T18:43:23+01:00

Project Timeline

Project updates as they happen

May 2019

Crop growth at Cockle Park Farm – May 2019

Currently low disease present and trial plots at growth stage 32. Biological applied twice due to low disease pressure with further applications planned going forward for general disease/crop health unless mildew or rust become an issue.

Crop growth images taken at Cockle Park farm this week:

Biological plots and IPM at Cockle Park farm (May 2019)

Conventional plots at Cockle Park farm (May 2019)

Biosolutions Event – 9th May 2019

In May, Crop Health North featured at the Centre for Crop Health and Protection’s key event on Agricultural BioSolutions hosted by Stockbridge Technology Centre in Selby.

The agricultural biosolution market has seen continual growth over the past few years for both biopesticides (plant protection products) and biostimulants (crop nutrition). However, there is still a need to optimise their use, particularly for arable crops. Major gaps exist in research relating to early stage discovery and screening of new candidates, large scale production, formulation and application. Developments with precision agriculture with decision support systems, pre-symptomatic detection and localised application are expected to improve their performance and cost effectiveness.
Addressing some of the key issues, Crop Health and Protection (CHAP), one of the four Centres for Agricultural Innovation, brought together leading scientists with state-of-the-art facilities, to help drive research and innovation, to transform crop systems.

Facilitated by operational group member, Dr Roma Gwynn, Crop Health North was cited as a good example of a farmer driven project.

To find out more about the Centre for Crop Health and Protection, please visit:

To find out about the projects underway at Stockbridge Technology Centre, please visit:

Previous agenda:

November 2018

CropTec Show 2018

Prof Rob Edwards and Dr Roma Gwynn were among the speakers at this year’s CropTec Show 2018. The event was held at the East of England Showground in Peterborough. Rob and Roma spoke to audience of 200 over the two day show. Their topic focussed on how biological products can help to strengthen a plants resistance to disease and pests as a result of the trials. In addition they focussed how much benefit do they provide; are they value for money and what about public perception? In conclusion, Rob and Roma shared two years of trial results comparing the effectiveness of synthetic and biological products on disease resistance, yield and quality for different wheat varieties.

You can see the presentation here: Biologicals for disease and pest control: a farmer-led case study

July 2018

10th July 2018 – Will biocontrol’s work for arable farmers?


Group discussion with farmers and researchers.


Dr Roma Gwynn, Biorationale and Prof Rob Edwards, University of Newcastle, led discussions at this year’s 160th Great Yorkshire Show, on whether biocontrol’s were the future for farmers, what was the perception of these bio-agents and would they would be cost effective for farmers to use. Discussions linked in the trials currently underway through Crop Health North.

June 2018

8th June 2018 – Demonstration Day at Stockbridge Technology Centre

A second day of trial demonstrations took place on the 8th June during Stockbridge Technology Centre’s Procam event. The audience was made up of farmers and agronomists with around 60-70 people, three groups in total, with plenty of interest.



7th June 2018 – Demonstration day at Stockbridge Technology Centre

Members of the operational group went to showcase the trials at the recent Stockbridge Technology Centre demonstration event, it was a great day for it!

The wheat trial is looking good. Septoria still not an issue. Just trying to keep a hold on yellow rust on the biological plots with another Serenade spray earlier this week.

Attendees included farmers, agronomists, representation from Bayer and a group from the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) in York.

February 2018

22nd February 2018 – Crop Health North Team meet to discuss the trials

    (L-R, Holly Jones, Phillip Davis, Emma Bumby, Nicholas Ashtree, Tom King, Roma Gwynn, Rob Edwards, Richard Bramley)


Crop Health North Team meet at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society to discuss the details of the trials.

7th February 2018 – Nafferton Farm Spring Wheat trial photos

Progress photos of the Spring Wheat trial site at Nafferton Farm.

7th February 2018 – Cockle Park Farm Spring Wheat trial photos

Progress photos of the Spring Wheat trial site at Cockle Park Farm. The crop growing well. The project team are due to meet on the 22nd February to discuss spray regimes.

January 2018

11th January 2018 – Trail plots at Stockbridge Technology Centre








Trial sites at Stockbridge Technology Centre. So far the crop has good establishment. The ground is wet but not too bad for this time of year.

The project will focus on it’s spray program for 2018.

2nd January 2018 – Trial plot at Nafferton site






The trial plot at Nafferton, University of Newcastle

December 2017

9th December 2017 – Spore diagnostic equipment

Following on from the conference last month, discussions continue as to how the project could utilise spore diagnostic equipment to pre-empt disease periods. The operational group hope to obtain a device to monitor this in the New Year.

The Spore diagnostic equipment would be able to identify:

  • Septoria – tritici but also nodorum
  • Rusts – yellow  (brown to a lesser extent)
  • Tan Spot
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Fusarium

November 2017

23rd November 2017 – Crop Health North Conference

Crop Health North held a conference on Thursday 23rd November aimed to inspire farmers and agronomists to think differently about how biopesticides for wheat could have a role to play in the future. The audience learnt why biopesticides have been used and what effect they have on the plant’s health. This was an opportunity to explore different methods of practice sharing ideas on how to develop the project further. Following the presentations explaining the spring wheat trail findings, the biological product that is being used and the trial design for next year’s winter wheat trials, the audience had an opportunity to participate in a round table discussion. Themes that came up included;

  • Can the project analyse conventional timings vs. optimum biological timings.
  • Can the project use spore capture technology to identify when spores land?
  • Can the project demonstrate financial viability?
  • Can the project access crop monitor farm data as a comparison?
  • Can the biological add value through nutrition uptake?
  • What is the perception of biologicals with farmers and the general public?

You can view the presentations here:

Crop Health North Overview by Prof Rob Edwards

IPM and Biopesticide use in Arable Crops by Dr Roma Gwynn

Trials Overview by Tom King

An Introduction to Bayer Biologicals by Tim Lacey

Tom talks through the spring wheat trials and plot designs for next year’s winter wheat.

October 2017

23rd October 2017 – Further drilling

The crop was successfully drilled at Stockbridge Technology Centre.

16th October 2017 – Drilling preparations

Nafferton and Cockle Park farms successfully drilled for winter wheat earlier this week. The two wheat varieties the trial will focus on are Skyfall and Leeds. The thousand grain weight  (TGW) for Skyfall is 54g and Leeds is 51g. Both have 98% germination. The trials will run 6 replicates on each site of the three sites, Nafferton  farm, Stockbridge Technology Centre and Cockle Park farm. You can find out more about our work package 2 here:

July 2017

4th July 2017 – Spring Wheat Demonstration Day

 It was a rather wet and drizzly day for our Spring Wheat Demonstration Day in the North East. The event took place on Tuesday 4th July near Morpeth and was open to all who were interested to learn about the progress of the trials.

Prof Rob Edwards chaired the discussions and we heard from Tom King, Eurofins, who is leading on the trial site analysis at Cockle Park and Nafferton Farms.

Left to right: Mulika variety Conventional, Conventional/Biological ( Integrated Pest management, IPM), Biological


Observations from the samples:

The Mulika examples look a lot dirtier – you can see the yellowish leaves. Due to the brighter and drier weather conditions this year, there has not been a great amount of disease. It will be useful to see the yield of the grain and the protein content and to make a visual comparison with Stockbridge Technology Centre  based further south. These samples have not been counted and were for observation purposes only. This may not necessarily be a negative. The vision of the trial is to see how plants can increase their natural defences. A plant may have yellow septoria, however, could  be a stronger variety as a whole and better equipped to fight off disease.

Trial Site, Cockle Park Farm, Morpeth

Full Summary Notes for Spring Wheat Demonstration Day

June 2017

4th June 2017

Nafferton and Cockle Park were sprayed today. Cockle Park has had some slug damage but should be ok once it catches up with the Nafferton site. Not enough damage that is worth treating. Still plenty of crop there though for results and yield.

1st June 2017

Images of the Nafferton site making good progress after some much needed rain. The trial site has thickened up well and is slightly further on than the Cockle Park site.

Discussions amongst the team about the potential for aphids.