Fifty progressive farmers ranging from Cornwall to Aberdeenshire, have been included in the fourth year of BASF’s Real Results’ trials.

Run in partnership with ADAS, these are conducted on farmers’ own farms, using their own machinery and assessed using ADAS’ Agronomics field trials tool, which fully statistically analyses each field and treatment.

New for this year are three Aberdeenshire famers, Sandy Norrie, from AJ Duncan Farms, near Turriff; Andrew Booth, from Foveran; and Scott Campbell, from near Kemnay.

Murielle Moille, from BASF, said: “We are running the trials in partnership with ADAS as we feel it is important because they bring independent science to the Real Results’ trials, which has consistently appealed to the farmers involved. At the heart of the trials is a quest by farmers to find out what agronomic decisions work best on their farms and why.

“Whilst the BASF Real Results Circle allows growers to learn about their farm, it also gives them the opportunity to be part of something bigger that the network of other farmers provides.”

ADAS uses a methodology ‘Agronomics’ to give a unique scientific credibility to the design, management and statistical analysis of tramline trials. It is a unique approach that was developed in partnership with BASF, Innovate UK, statisticians from the British Geological Survey, and digital specialist AgSpace.

Susie Roques, and ADAS crop physiologist, said: “Agronomics brings statistical verification of the differences between treatments which validates the best options for each farm, variety and season. The tool is about trial design, the way we analyse the data and about doing farm-scale research well. It is also about having a closer connection between researchers and growers, recognising that innovative ideas are just as likely to come from growers as scientists.”

In the 2019 Real Results trials, 51 farmers trialled BASF’s new cereal fungicide, Revystar XE, on winter wheat crops against their chosen farm standard on fields of their choosing – 31 of which included applications at T1 and T2, while 20 applied it at just T2.

“The results in 2019 were our most striking in any series of trials so far – a consistent pattern of significant differences in disease assessments, visible effects in satellite NDVI images, and significant yield benefits from Revystar; in previous years the results were much more even between the treatments,” said Ms Moille.

“In total, 39 trials were statistically usable and 12 were excluded because trials were unbalanced or had no yield map data. But, the important findings across the vast majority of trials were that Revystar reduced septoria severity and extended green canopy duration.

“As we face the continuation of a dry spring, combined with the hidden threat of latent infections, this finding could be very valuable to all the growers looking to maximise yield from the very variable crops in the ground this year.”