An update from FABulous Farmers
Welcome to the FABulous Farmers update. This programme will be working with farmers in three pilot regions (East of England, South West and Pembrokeshire) to support adoption of a range of farming practices to increase functional agro- biodiversity (FAB).
First FAB learning network launched
In the UK, the first FAB learning network is now up and running in the South West focusing on diverse leys for livestock. This group is running in conjunction with Innovative Farmers and is looking at management practices for diverse leys as well as monitoring the benefits of diverse leys for soil health and livestock. We are planning an open workshop for this network in the autumn and will be including an invite for a group of dairy farmers in Wales looking at farming practices to increase pollinator numbers in grassland.
We are in the process of forming a learning network in Pembrokeshire with fruit and vegetable growers and a second one with livestock farmers who are interested in agroforestry.
Last month saw us running two exploratory sessions for new FAB Farmers learning networks (Norfolk and Gloucestershire). In Norfolk there was great interest in finding out more about cover crop choice and management with a second session in planning for September. In Gloucestershire the group were interested in cover crop choice for the Cotswolds and will meet up again after harvest to move their plans forward. If you would like to join either group please let me know.
Alternatives to chemical weed control
Planning for the autumn conference in conjunction with RAU and Innovative Farmers on alternatives to chemical weed control are progressing well. We are planning on having a number of demonstrations running after the workshop papers in the morning. More information will be available soon, but please save the 23rd October in your diary if are interested in joining us.
The next General Assembly will be held on 26th & 27th November at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire. There will be opportunities to visit some of the demonstration sites on the estate. More information will be available in due course.