The experimental farm Bel Orient, a useful tool for Agritech Service
150 hectares for testing crops
Agritech Service is one of the 3 main partners of the Bel Orient Experimental Farm. Since 1990, this independent crop production consultancy, based in Loudéac, has been bringing its agronomic expertise to farmers in Britany. One of Agritech Service’s strengths is experimentation, which enables it to provide independent, responsive and tailored advice to its clients. Prior to the acquisition of the Bel Orient Experimental Farm, Agritech Service carried out tests on its customers’ premises. Since then, the farm’s 150 hectares of farming land has provided an opportunity to innovate and multiply agronomic, phytosanitary and varietal experimentation.
The first work undertaken was the mapping of all the plots on the farm by Soyl France, Agritech Services’ partner for soil mapping. Precise knowledge of the physical and chemical characteristics of each plot allows the modulation of the sowing density of maize and cereals, liming and fertilization (N,P,K). Agritech service offers these methods to its customers and produces recommendations/modulation maps.
Description of soil types – SCEA
In addition, tests are carried out every year on smaller plots to explore certain themes in greater depth. For the 2019-2020 campaign, the objectives are as follows:
Barley varieties: to select the best varieties according to criteria of hardiness, yield and resistance JNO, 70 micro-plots.
Wheat varieties: to select the best varieties according to disease and yield tolerance criteria, 150 micro-plots.
Biocontrol/cereal biostimulants: to evaluate biocontrol products and/or foliar biostimulants as an alternative to fungicides, 30 micro-plots.
Maize biostimulants: to evaluate biostimulant products in seed coatings or foliar applications, 60 micro-plots.
Protein trial: to evaluate the yield capacity of different varieties and species (peas, lentils, faba beans, soya beans, lupins), 60 micro-plots.
Phacelia test: to produce a clean phacelia for plant cover, 10 micro-plots.
Long-term trial: on the same plot divided into 3 parts, to compare different ploughing cultivation techniques, simplified cultivation techniques and direct sowing over a period of time of 15 years. To understand the impact of these techniques on crops and soil, to find alternatives to glyphosate in direct seeding.
Finally, the majority of the surface area devoted to fodder (alfalfa, ryegrass) allows Agritech to work in greater depth on this crop, which is undervalued in Brittany. A fodder training course is currently being developed, which will provide Agritech Service’s customers with the keys to optimizing this resource, from the choice of species, through the management of the crop to harvesting (mowing or grazing).
Combined with the field observations of technicians, these experiments therefore enable Agritech Service to provide Breton farmers with independent and efficient crop production advice.