Register for E-Bulletin
7 June 2017
Intercropping field day
Does intercropping provide an untapped opportunity for enhancing arable farming systems?
22 June 2017
Improving productivity for farmers and foresters
23 May 2017
In-conversion land area on the rise
Defra organic farming stats for 2016 released
15 May 2017
TP Organics: 2017 Call for Organic Innovations
Check out this year's themes & apply!
1 February 2017
The future of UK organic support
Defra minister announces continued support post-Brexit
Impacts of organic silvoarable systems on pest and disease distribution – Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Berkshire
Contract period:1 March 2010 to 28 August 2010
Main funder:University of Reading/ORC
Contact staff at ORC:Dr. Jo Smith
Project aimsTom Pinkham, an MSc student from University of Reading, worked with us on his research thesis to investigate the influence of tree rows on an ecosystem service - pest and disease control. He measured the influence of tree/hedgerow strips on microclimate and soil characteristics at various distances from the tree rows into the middle of the crop alleys, and in a neighbouring open field. Assessments of major pests and/or diseases, and crop assessments, were carried out in the crop alleys and compared with levels in monocropped fields. Analyses identified higher air temperatures, moister soils, and lower wind speeds when compared to control system. Weed cover was 7% higher in the agroforestry system, and aphids and Ramularia were also higher in the agroforestry crop. However, there was no significant difference in crop damage levels between the agroforestry system and control field.