October 2023 – Hub Site Update
The IBERS team visited Headley Hall on October 24th to carry out establishment counts/phenotyping of the 2023 Miscanthus variety trial and also carried out rust scoring of the woody species. During their visit the following observations were made:
- There are some signs of rabbit damage in the Willow Variety Trial but this didn’t seem very recent. It looked like the trees had grown since the damage. The weed burden is low.
- There is good establishment in both SRF and SRC Poplar plots and the weed burden is low.
- The weed burden is high in the Black Locust plots and the plants have not been trimmed.
- The Miscanthus Athena plot has been sprayed, weed grasses show clear signs of the spray. There has been limited effect on the Miscanthus, but it would be expected that the miscanthus would take longer to show signs of spray.
- The Miscanthus Giganteus plot is looking good.
- The weed burden is low in the 0.5 ha SRC Willow plot. We marked the soil coring position with a plastic peg before taking the establishment measurements. The pegs have been left in place.
- Establishment in the Miscanthus Variety Trial is generally good for IBERS hybrids although GNT 9 & 10 will require some gap filling. Miscanthus Illinois has very limited establishment although this has been the case at every site. It is being repeated in the 2024 trials so might not be worth replanting in the 2023 trials.
- There is good establishment in the Alder plot and the weed burden is reasonably low.
- The Electric fence looked ‘pretty good’, however, herbicide spraying around the fence line would be recommended to help prevent the fence shorting out. One rabbit was observed within the fenced-off area which is not ideal.
Photo Gallery, NIAB Headley Hall Hub Site, October 2023