Hub Site Update – AFBI Hillsborough – July 2023

26 August 2023

July 2023 – Hub Site Updates

  • The big breakthrough for the AFBI site in Northern Ireland was finally getting all the phytosanitary certification approved so that the Eucalyptus plug plants and washed Sida rhizomes could be sent. These were shipped on July the 4th and received by AFBI on the 5th of July.
  • Eucalyptus planting was carried out on the 5th and 6th of July
  • Sida was kept in cold storage until planting commenced on the 19th of July.
  • The Biomass Connect team from RRes made a site visit to AFBI on the 25-27th of July. This was combined with the planting of the Accelerating Willow Breeding and Deployment (AWBD) trial that AFBI are hosting.
  • Generally, crop establishment is looking good across the site.
  • Plans for weed management were discussed: Unfortunately, the team were unable to get on the ground to apply glysophate for a total weed kill. Ideally, this would have been carried out prior to planting so some recommendations were made.  
    1. Strim or mow between plantings to get the weeds down.
    2. It may be necessary to weed around the base of the plants if weeds are too established.
    3. Once the inter rows have been cut, allow a period of 7-10 days to allow the weeds to come back a bit, then apply Glyphosate using a Micron Herbidome sprayer
  • Overall, it was great to see that the Eucalyptus plugs did not look too bad after their extended period of storage at Rothamsted and their subsequent travel to Northern Ireland. Weed control will be critical now to give these plants the best chance of surviving.

Read more about the Biomass Connect AFBI Hillsborough Hub Site

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