Demonstrator Hub Update – Rothamsted Research – North Wyke – May 2024

26 June 2024

May 2024 – North Wyke Demonstrator Hub Update

North Wyke Site Plan

North Wyke Site Plan

It has been less wet than the year so far, but the ground was still too wet to work and has only just become accessible to machinery. The plots are something of a mixed bag. Some are doing really well, others have a heavy weed burden and some have failed in part.

Crop Diaries

Click on the titles below to find out how each of the crops are progressing.


  • The SRF alder is looking good.

Black Locust

  • One block of 44  SRF black locust ‘Turbo’ on the windward side have all failed. (nearest the camera in the photo below). The others look good.
  • 32 of the  SRF black locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ have no signs of life yet. Only 8 have foliage.



  • The SRF Eucalyptus replacement trees arrived and were planted to fill the gaps last week.
  • New stakes will be added soon.


  • Following gapping up on 12/04/2024, two of the 10 A4A SRF poplar cuttings have failed to strike, the others are OK.
  • The SRC poplar is looking good and was part weeded by hand in the week commencing 13th May.


  • The 0.5 ha Miscanthus giganteus crop plants are starting to grow up above the thick grasses, but there is a heavy weed burden.
  • The 0.5 ha Miscanthus Athena™ is looking OK amongst the thick grasses. The gap will be replanted soon.
  • Quite a few plants in the 2023 Miscanthus variety trial plots are failing. This may be due to slug damage.
  • The 2024 Miscanthus variety trial is an empty plot. It has been sprayed, power-harrowed and spot-treated for weeds again ready for planting in mid-June.


  • The 0.5 ha SRC willow plot is looking good. Glyphosate has been applied between the rows with the Herbidome (13th May). It needs more weeding.
  • The willow variety trial plot was intensely strimmed and hand weeded in the week commencing 13th May. Glyphosate was applied between the rows with the Herbidome on 24th May,



  • The Sida has taken well after planting on 7th May.
  • The plot needs weed spot treatment.

Reed Canary Grass

The reed canary grass plot has not been re-seeded yet.


The switchgrass has yet to be seeded. It is due to replace the failed Sida plot which was cut down on 30th-31st May and raked off.


The Silphium seems to have failed to germinate from seed.

Plans and Actions

  • The grass aisles that were sown with a SFI seed mix has predominantly produced grass. It has not been cut or managed yet.
  • The demo day was unfortunately cancelled and has yet to be rescheduled.
  • The Rothamsted Research team will meet with the IBERS Hub Manager to discuss the heavy weed burden in the Miscanthus.

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