Crop Protection

What impact do different cultivation systems have on Nitrogen-fixing bacteria seed treatment Nuello iN?

23 March 2024, UK: Elveden Estates has partnered with Syngenta to host a cropping system sustainability trial site. The site is focused on improving sustainability metrics whilst also delivering quality produce. 

The trial layout sees a 15Ha area split in to 3 distinct management systems, to compare the impacts of different farming approaches on both financial and biological sustainability. Changing cultivation systems means we also need to consider altering our crop management strategy. That’s why we were interested to see the results of our new nitrogen-fixing bacteria seed treatment Nuello iN across the different systems. 

Understanding the three different systems


The conventional system focuses on maximising yield by using intensive cultivations to prepare a fine seedbed, and it doesn’t hold back on CP and nutrient inputs.


IPM+ focuses on reduced soil movement while adapting to seasonal needs for intervention. Input decisions are based on pest thresholds or prediction services and a cost/benefit analysis. This system embraces additional revenue streams from SFIs through the inclusion of cover crops etc.


Regen focuses on the long-term. This system aims for a zero-till approach to promote soil restructuring and to increase soil health. Further extending the work to improve soil health, the trial also sees the integration of a living mulch as part of this area, along with shorter term cover cropping and the potential to incorporate livestock grazing.

The results

Winter wheat SY CHEER drilled 10th October 2023 across the different cultivation systems. Samples were taken 5th March 2024.

As you can see, we observed a visual benefit in increased rooting and biomass from Nuello iN across most cultivations systems. As a seed treatment, Nuello iN colonises the crop as soon as it chits, providing a constant nitrogen supply to the plant over the winter. This boosts plants from the beginning, which is showing as increased rooting and biomass in the spring.  

Comparing the above ground biomass weight (g) of WW variety SY CHEER across the different cultivation systems both with and without the addition of Nuello iN seed treatment.

Final observations

There was a noticeable positive difference in the rooting and biomass of the plant with the addition of Nuello iN. We observed the biggest increase in the conventional system, where the biomass increased by 100%. The best overall results for crop biomass came from the regen + living mulch system.

Where we’ve seen improved rooting and establishment in previous trials with PGRs and other seedcare products, that has correlated with increased yield at end of season. As well as the additional nitrogen the plant is receiving from the Nuello iN endophytes through the spring, the larger root system also leads to improved anchorage and lodging resistance, and nutrient and water scavenging. Elveden is a light land site so we will be keenly watching to see if there is any effect on crop health when water availability becomes more restricted later in the season.

Additionally, the core function of Nuello iN is to allow the crop to fix atmospheric nitrogen through the activity of the endophyte bacteria. Trials to date have shown an average benefit of around 30 kg N, so to put this to the test we will be reducing the total N in the regen plot by 30 kg to assess the impact on yield and quality.

Also Read: FMC Launches Arc™ Farm Intelligence Platform in India

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