Throws Farm is Agrii’s Research and Development (R&D) Technology Centre, delivering applied research by working with breeders, suppliers and manufacturers to provide advice to a 280 strong agronomist network reaching 35% of UK arable farms. The farm has access to laboratory and glass house facilities, allowing screening of bio-solutions for their potential benefits to UK farming, prior to further field trials.
Main contact: Duncan Robertson (R&D operations manager)
Contact details: [email protected] / 01371 856431
Address: Throws Farm Technology Centre, Stebbing, Dunmow, Essex, CM6 3AQ
The provision of technical advice is a growing part of Agrii’s remit, recently launching its 5-point Green Horizons sustainability manifesto; Increasing farm productivity & viability; Providing integrated whole farm solutions; Improving soil resilience; Enhancing the environment; and Extending stakeholder engagement.
Throws Technology Centre carries out trials on soft and top fruit at East Malling Research Station, on vegetables at Spalding and on potatoes at a range of other sites. The farm covers 50 acres and 98% of trials are associated with Integrated Farm Management. A “Variety Sustainability Rating” has been created from a national series of wheat, barley and oilseed rape variety trials, encompassing aspects such as disease resistance, lodging risk, drill date, grassweed competitiveness and pest resistance.
Agrii is working closely with Harper Adams and the Centre of Ecology & Hydrology to develop a solid, scientifically based test for soil health. Throws has also been part of the Agrocycle project developing a protocol that will contribute towards a 50% reduction of food waste by 2030. Using trials data, Throws Farm have additionally developed their own Septoria risk tool.
A series of Digital Technology farms are linked into Throws Farm in partnership with RHIZA, investigating precision technology to target inputs such as N, P, K and foliar nutrition.
A large conference room is used for knowledge transfer and hosts Harper Adams Soil & Water annual conference as well as for AHDB, IRAG and many other industry bodies. iFarm events are held every year at Throws including trials tours in the spring / summer seeing approximately 350 farmers attend each year.
Research at Throws Farm focuses on integrated crop management including:
Trials are also conducted into more niche crops such as haricot beans. The associated Integrated Blackgrass Management Centre at Stow Longa represents 21 years of investigation into the cultural control of Blackgrass (eg use of rotation, cover crops, delaying drilling, employment of competitive varieties etc). A trial on BYDV in wheat and barley looks at alternative control measures alongside typical crop protection inputs, including micronutrient application, bio-stimulants and tolerant varieties.