Weeding Out Problems on Timetable for Nuffield Scholar
The challenge of tackling herbicide resistant weeds across the world has led to a South Yorkshire farmer being selected to receive the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s 2015/16 Nuffield Farming Scholarship.
Richard Hinchliffe of Dikes Marsh Farm, Thorne near Doncaster was chosen from a strong line up of candidates for the prestigious award. As part of his scholarship he plans to travel to North America, Australia, South America and Germany to look at how farmers in different climates, growing different crops under a variety of regimes are dealing with the problem.
Richard explained: “I would like to investigate how herbicide resistant weeds developed, the methods used to control them and see how successfully they are being managed. I am particularly interested in finding improved cultural controls to help develop the overall sustainability of our farming systems. Through my studies, I hope to learn from other people’s lessons, so that we don’t make the same mistakes here in the UK.” Of particular interest to Richard is the problem of black-grass, which will be included in his study.
Nigel Pulling, Chief Executive said: “This is a hugely topical subject as it’s one of the most important issues facing today’s arable farmers. Richard has the drive and the commitment to develop the research towards eradication and sustainable management. The potential benefits to the industry cannot be under estimated.”
Richard is a partner in the 1,400 acre family farm and plays a key role in the day to day management including crop variety selection, crop walking, nutrient planning and purchasing inputs. On the machinery side, he is responsible for machinery procurement and maintenance as well as the practical operation elements.
BASF’s agronomy and biodiversity site is hosted at one of the farms and through farm open days, around 600 visitors are welcomed annually. In addition, key influencer days are held for groups including government agencies and NGOs, supermarkets and international visitors. Richard was also the winner of the 2011 Syngenta Grass Weed Manager of the Year competition.