The YEN Yield Testing Project is funded by the EIP-Agri (through DEFRA) until 2020.

The project supports YEN entrants in testing their ideas for yield enhancement

YEN Farmer Idea Groups (FIGs)

Guide to Farmers' crop trials

YEN Ideas Treasury

Project Funding







Dr Sarah Kendall explains the YEN Yield Testing project.
Dr Christina Clarke outlines the ADAS Agronomics approach to analysising field trials data. 








Farmer Idea Groups (FIGs)

Since the YEN began in 2012, entrants have had many ideas for enhancing yields.  

You can now test these through the new ‘YEN Yield Testing project’ (funded by EIP-Agri).  

At 2018 Ideas Lab we established a number of Farmer Idea Groups (FIGs), based on the best ideas raised within YEN. 

You can now join these groups of like-minded farmers (with an ADAS supporter).   

If you are intersted in joining one or more of the FIGs described below, please contact the relevant ADAS facilitator. 

For all general enquiries, please contact







Amino Acids  

The amino acid yield testing FIG involves farmers applying an amino acid based biostimulant product in the spring on winter wheat, to compare with the farm standard of no treatment. Amino acids include 20 different compounds and have various roles in plants, including protein production. The YEN Yield Testing trials are focusing on yield effects of amino acids applied in the spring, with the hypothesis that this will increase above-ground biomass. High biomass at harvest and a greater number of ears per unit area have been associated with higher yields in YEN.


Kate Storer

01944 738646




Spring Potash


The potash yield testing trials are assessing the potential benefit of adding additional potash, in the form of muriate of potash (MOP, 60% K2O), in the spring at the same time as the main nitrogen application. Potassium and nitrogen are strongly associated within plant processes as nitrogen stimulates cell growth which increases cell water intake. Potassium is then needed to maintain cell turgor by regulating cell water content, this is essential to optimise light interception as it effects leaf morphology. The formation of proteins from nitrate and their distribution around the plant is also dependant on adequate potassium levels, therefore affecting the crop N response This is being tested on winter wheat but also includes additional fields of oilseed rape and spring barley, using rates of 0, 100 and 200 kg/ha of MOP.  


Christina Clarke

01954 268258




Deep Rooting  

The deep rooting FIG is looking to test the impact of soil management on yield and rooting through encouragement of deep burrowing earthworms. The farmers will test various combinations of deep/shallow cultivations and +/- manure in six tramline trials to encourage earthworms (especially deep burrowing species) and monitor impacts on earthworm numbers, deep rooting and yields. The effects of these treatments will obviously not only be constrained to effects on earthworms, e.g. FYM will provide substantial extra nutrition over autumn & winter. However, the purpose of the FIG is to test ideas and practices not necessarily to be able to separate and understand all the effects from the outset. We aim to grow the FIG and seek continued support for continued monitoring and tests in future years.


Charlotte White

01623 848364





Cross drilling oilseed rape  

The oilseed rape cross drilling FIG is looking to test and understand the impact of optimising plant spacing on yield. The farmers involved in this group have cross drilled an area of their oilseed rape by drilling 50% of the seed rate in both directions. The work aims to show how ensuring oilseed rape plants have the right amount of spacing around the whole plant is beneficial in terms of canopy size and plant architecture. Researchers Tom Bennett and Catriona Walker at The University of Leeds are also using the project as a basis for understanding the control of branching in oilseed rape. The results of the trials done within this FIG may help to support future research into the precision drilling of oilseed rape. 


Sarah Kendall

01623 844331




Crop Momentum  

The Crop Momentum FIG has been generated in response to the “little and often” and “attention to detail” approaches used by farmers performing well in the YEN. This group will test a systems approach to improving yield rather than testing effects of individual products. The idea of Crop Momentum arises because two factors are seen to be driving crop - the “source” and the “sink”. A plant makes assimilate –– the source –– and has to find somewhere to put it –– the sink. To optimise yield you have to ensure the plant has both. Farmers involved in this FIG are being encouraged to monitor and measure their crops throughout the season. Crops will receive lots of small applications of nutrients and other inputs throughout the season. Growers are choosing their applications from an agreed “Monthly Momentum Menu” such that crop growth is supported throughout the season.


Damian Hatley

01623 848365







Guide to Farmers' Crop Trials

ADAS has published a guide to help farmers conduct successful on-farm trials.  The full guide can be downloaded using the link below.

ADAS believes that by working together with other farmers, suppliers, agronomists and scientists, farmers can use their own trials to bring fast learning, new findings and best practice for themselves and the industry at large. 

We are now seeking to promote and support this approach internationally; we call it ‘Agronōmics’.

GPS and other modern technologies, along with thorough trial protocols, can make farm trialling straight forward and routine.  Decisions and innovations can then become thoroughly validated and tailored to real farming conditions.

This guide outlines processes leading to successful farm-trialling and how to avoid the pitfalls.

The guide covers trials conducted with ADAS Agronōmics support, trials using yield mapping technology without ADAS support, and trials where the yields are assessed by weighbridge.

Download the Guid to farmers' crop trials





YEN Ideas Treasury

Since the YEN began in 2012, entrants have had many ideas for enhancing yields. 









Ideas Labs.

YEN ideas Labs bring together farmers, advisors, and researchers to discuss yield enhancement. 

For more information, please visit the event page

To maximise confidence in results of yield testing, we suggest you plan to:

  • Test your idea on several farms

  • Align treatments across in field soil variation

  • Create a tidy yield map, by careful harvest

  • Get spatial analysis of the yield map (by ADAS Agronomics).

For further enqueries, please contact


Project Funding


This project is funded by the EIP-Agri, which works to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that 'achieves more and better from less' across Europe.

EIP-Agri Project Page



All participants within the projects are members of the Yield Enhancement Network. 

All fields entered into the YEN Yield Testing programme are also entered into the YEN competition. 




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