The implications of improving the conservation value of field margins on crop production.
Two field studies were conducted in Shropshire and Leicestershire during 1993/94 to quantify the effects of field margin management on cereal production. In the first, it was demonstrated experimentally that growing the crop up to the field margin gave a greater overall yield. Crops adjacent to a wildflower/grass strip yielded the next highest, whilst the poorest yield was obtained from a conservation headland adjacent to a sterile strip.
In the second study, a survey of winter wheat headlands revealed that grain yields were significantly less at the crop edge compared to 12 m into the crop, whilst weed biomass was significantly greater near to the field margin and decreased on moving towards the centre of the field.