SSCR Combinable and Energy Crops Winter Meeting

Improving the Sustainability of Arable Cropping: results from the first rotation at the Centre for Sustainable Cropping

The Centre for Sustainable Cropping Platform is based at Balruddery Farm near Dundee, and comprises a 42 ha block of six fields, established in 2009 to integrate sustainability research in arable ecosystems. It is the first of its scale in the UK and provides an open research facility to test and demonstrate the economic, ecological and environmental trade-offs in sustainable land management. The platform provides a whole systems framework for designing and testing cropping systems to optimise yield, biodiversity and environmental health for long-term food security.

At this meeting, we will present some of the initial findings for the first crop rotation (2011-2016), comparing the integrated system directly with current conventional practice. Data on crop yield and quality, Biological Nitrogen Fixation for reducing mineral N inputs, biodiversity, soil health and the economic implications of alternative management strategies will be used to evaluate and improve on the cropping system in future rotations. For more information on the Platform, please visit the website at


13:15     Registration opens

13:45     Introduction to the Centre for Sustainable Cropping Long-term Platform: Cathy Hawes, James Hutton Institute

13:55     Crops yield and weed responses to an integrated cropping system and implications for system functions: Cathy Hawes, James Hutton Institute

14:15     Rhizobium leguminosarum genotypes associated with high levels of Biological Nitrogen Fixation by faba bean: Euan James, James Hutton Institute

14:35    Using GC-MS based metabolite profiling to compare the effects of different management practices on the composition of cereal crops: Tom Shepherd, James Hutton Institute

14:55     Coffee, tea and cakes

15:10    Soil management for potatoes: What does the Centre for Sustainable Cropping tell us?: Blair McKenzie, James Hutton Institute

15:30     The economics of alternative crop production systems in the context of farmer participation in carbon trading markets: Yakubu Abdul-Salam, James Hutton Institute

15:50     Refining the system for the future: Cathy Hawes, James Hutton Institute

16:00     Wrap up

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 09:45