Strategic Centre for Field Vegetables - Leafy Salads

Bruce Napier, NIAB / G's Fresh
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About Strategic Centre for Field Vegetables - Leafy Salads

  • G’s Growers hosted the first novel weeding equipment demonstration trials under the umbrella of ‘Strategic Centre for Leafy Salads’, in 2020
  • The weeding demonstration trials were led by Bruce Napier of NIAB, with guidance and input from G’s Growers staff Emma Garfield & Rob Parker
  • Trials were undertaken following a request from the British Leafy Salads Association (BLSA) technical committee, who wanted to find out the impact of a range of mechanical / physical, heat and electrical weeding equipment on weed pressure, in a commercial whole-head Iceberg lettuce crop
  • An open day had been planned to showcase results but this had to be cancelled and was replaced with an online webinar in September 2020

Strategic Centres, demonstration sites where grower-driven innovative work is explored on grower sites, are being adopted across Field Vegetable crops. The reducing pesticides armoury has made pest, disease and weed control a much harder challenge for growers.

In 2020, at the request of the BLSA, AHDB Horticulture funded Strategic Centre work on leafy salads at G’s. Different weeding equipment trials were demonstrated showcasing the impact on weeds in a commercial crop of Iceberg lettuce. G’s staff, Emma Garfield and Rob Parker, who also are members of the BLSA technical committee advising the AHDB on priority areas, were instrumental in guiding the work and working with equipment manufactures to bring them on board.  They also collaborated with Bruce Napier of NIAB who help deliver this work.

Equipment performance was compared with no weeding (control plots) and commercial standards (pre-post emergence herbicide treatments). In addition some treatments were combined to find out if there could be a cumulative impact of using different weed control treatments on weed pressure. 

Growers should also note that AHDB does not promote the use of one piece of equipment over another. We are merely reporting on AHDB funded grower-driven demonstration trials work. For more information on this trial please contact Grace Choto at

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