IWM Platform in Poland bringing educational added value
04 September, 2018
04 September, 2018
In view of this situation, there was clearly an urgent need for a platform to demonstrate the efficacy of different IWM strategies and support farmers to pick up the one that is more adapted to their local situation.
Composition of the platformDr. Michal Krysiak, Bayer’s Stewardship Manager, explains the composition and objectives of the platform: “It is divided into four parts, each with 11 plots 12 x 48 meters in size. One quarter has no crop rotation (wheat after wheat) and no tillage; the second quarter has no crop rotation (wheat after wheat) but tillage; the third quarter has crop rotation (wheat/OSR/wheat) but no tillage; and the fourth quarter has crop rotation (wheat/OSR/wheat) and tillage.
In each quarter there is one control plot where no herbicides are applied and two plots where there is no MoA rotation, i.e. always the same wheat herbicide each year. Different herbicides are applied on the other plots. As the plots always stay in the same place, the Apera seeds keep on supplying the weed seed bank year after year.” The Polish team chose to go for no repetitions in order to make this a demonstration platform with a clear educational objective. The size of the plots eliminates border effects and is delivering reliable and valuable results, even without repetitions. The platform is scheduled to run for at least another three years in order to observe the results after the first and second rotation, i.e. wheat after OSR.
Valuable comparisons possibleThe platform attracted visits from journalists in June, scientists in July, Bayer sales representatives for training purposes in July, and of course farmers. “This is actually the most difficult point,” Michal points out, “because nowadays, everybody is doing field days and it is getting harder to persuade farmers to visit demos.” But farmers who have visited the IWM platform have been fascinated by what they have seen. “The biggest strength of the platform is that farmers can see for themselves the effects of different strategies – how the density of Apera varies in fields depending on the methods applied.”
“The results have been entirely as expected,” Michal reports. “Rotation of crops and MoAs is crucial in the battle against resistance and regular tillage also helps.” But the educational added value is significant.