Another day on the road to meet Ian Wilkinson of Cotswold Seeds in Moreton in Marsh. I have heard Ian speak at various conferences and have bought seed of him in the past. His knowledge and experience with clovers, legumes, ley mixtures and various plant growth habits made me want to meet him and pick his brain! So I spent a few hours chatting to Ian and his colleague Sam about all things plants and soils.
There were a few points that stood out for me from this meeting:
- continuous Yellow Trefoil sown with spring cereals can be done and was done in Kent years ago (not much new in agriculture)
- if you rotate clover species you will avoid clover sickness and it is specific to species
- most clover seed production is abroad
- oats and vetch could be a good mixture with both going to animal feed
- yellow trefoil can be sown under beans
- sweet clover could be a good understorey in cereals but could become very aggressive in second year
- Main problem of undersowing is the variability from year to year
- the best way to improve soil is a perennial mixed ley
This is probably just a snapshot of Ian’s knowledge and hopefully I will be able to tap into it in the future.
On the way out I had a look at their mixing plant and warehouse.
This his is one of the seed mixers and it is loaded all by hand and is not automated as each order is mixed individually which needs care.
I would like to thank everyone at Cotswold seeds for an interesting day and for lunch.