Organic Research Centre (ORC)
ORC open day in Wakelyns Agroforestry, Fressignfield, Suffolk”
19th June, Wakelyns



ORC’s Wakelyns open day 2014

This year’s open day at Wakelyns (Organic Research Centre’s trial site in Suffolk, UK) provided a superb opportunity to discuss the research ORC are doing as part of COBRA with farmers and researchers alike. ORC are conducting two crop trials as part of COBRA both of which involve winter wheat composite cross populations (CCPs). The ‘cycling CCP’ experiment (COBRA WP2) compares a winter wheat CCP (YQ CCP) that has been distributed from site to site every year, named the ‘cycling CCP’, with a ‘home CCP’ which is regrown every year at the same site, to investigate the effects of population history on local adaptation and crop diversity. The second trial explores the potential to exploit the YQ CCP as a source of breeding material for the development of pure-lines varieties (COBRA WP3). Individual ears were selected from the CCP in 2008 and the five best performing lines were grown in full sized yield plots at Wakelyns for the first time this season. Some of these selected lines outperformed all tested commercial varieties in terms of disease resistance, weed competition, yield and grain quality. Next year, mixtures of these lines will be grown alongside commercial varieties and the original YQ CCP, from which they were selected, at two organic sites in the east of England. Overall the day was a huge success with all attendees being extremely impressed by the research taking place at ORC as part of the COBRA project.


Dr Henry Creissen speaking about the cycling CCP experiment at ORC (tweeted by an organic farmer attending the event)


Two of the winter wheat lines originally selected from the YQ CCP