Omex has expanded its research and development hubs with a new five hectare field trial site at a research facility at Heckington, Lincolnshire.
The site was contracted to Omex in 2019 with upwards of 300 farmers and contractors expected to visit to see winter wheat and spring oats trial plots, as well as ongoing AHDB RB209 trials. As Covid-19 restrictions have been in place since the start, Omex is expected to now let small groups attend the site from June onwards.
Also on site are polytunnels that have been set up to run large scale horticultural trials and a 30 person meeting room that can be used to host conferences and demonstrations.
The replicated winter wheat trials are looking at nitrogen timings, efficacy and efficiency; reduced rate applications; foliar nutrition, particualry manganese and magnesium, and the impact that urease and nitrification inhibitors can have on reducing carbon footprints.
Further demonstrations trials will provide visitors with a good visual representation of the effects of different inputs on a range of crops.
Omex technical director, David Booty, said: “The drought prone non-irrigated sandy loam soil at the site was deliberately selected because it is not a flagship winter wheat growing area, and is therefore perfect for generating meaningful data that growers from all over the country can relate to and benefit from.
“Not much information or meaningful data is available on optimum nitrogen applications with spring cropping, so OMEX will be investing significant resources in how to make more efficient use of nitrogen in the early season, before potentially adverse weather hits.”
The site joins Omex’s facility at Kings Lynn, where more than 100 glasshouse, controlled environment and replicated trials are managed. This is in addition to a number of farmer field trials.
“Having a dedicated trial site at Heckington too will generate even more scientifically validated data to further enhance product development and our range of environmentally friendly products,” said Mr Booty. “As more vital crop protection products are withdrawn and the available armoury is further depleted Omex is at the cutting edge of finding complimentary products as part of an effective ICM programme.
“For example, Omex is investigating how adding silicon to fungicide mixtures can improve plant health, by making them more robust and less prone to disease.”