Meet some of our FABulous Farmers
Throughout 2021, our farming team have been visiting farms around the UK, advising on practices that relate to our FABulous Farmers programme.
You will see we're working with all farmers (not just those certified organic) who are adopting FAB practices:
- Crop rotation
- Mixed crops
- Field edge/margin management
- Wood edge / hedgerows
- Input of organic matter and
- Green covers / catch crops
- Non-turning (minimum) tillage
Below are films and interviews with some of them
Sundorne Castle Estate, Shropshire, England
Estate Manager Alan Granger talks about his plans for improving soil health and biodiversity over the next 5 to 15 years.
The practices he's planning to implement include agroforestry and green cover crops, while at the same time measuring carbon, organic matter and wildlife.
The Estate's aim is to reduce artificial fertilisers (particularly nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)), while maintaining and improving gross margins.
Broadward Hall Farm, Herefordshire, England
Ben talks about forthcoming plans to establishing herbal leys ‘to help build fertility in the soil because we’re organic’. Herbal leys improve soil health and capture carbon, and also ‘provide a more rich and diverse food for the cattle’.
He talks about challenges imposed by changing weather patterns, and the danger of weeds taking control when establishing, but is determined to give it a go.
Cefn Coch Farm, Ceredigion, West Wales
Joe’s interest in agroforestry is as an ecologist as well as a farmer. He appreciates the benefits of trees in open landscapes for biodiversity.
Joe Hope - 'no fence' planting
This scientific eye allows him to see the benefits of experimentation, and he advises others to give agroforestry a try, ‘maybe on a small scale and see what you think’.
Find out more about agroforestry.
TWB Farms, Lichfield, Staffordshire, England
Transition to no till
Clive was an early adopter of no-till practices, and has a ‘regen ag system with cover cropping, companion cropping and a diverse rotation’ which has allowed him to cut synthetic inputs significantly over the past 15 years.
He talks about no-till and the importance of knowledge exchange with other farmers.
Clive has also been part of the Innovative Farmers' Living Mulch Field Lab, looking into whether growing clover under cash crops can reduce or eliminate chemical fertilisers and herbicides, by controlling weeds whilst also fixing nitrogen.
Field Hall Farm in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire
Rob talks about the farms’ reasons for trialling mixed cropping of companion planting oil seed rape with berseem clover and buckwheat. They’re part of a trial with South Staffs Water, who’s main goals are to reduce pesticides in the water, run-off and soil erosion.
The added benefit for Rob is fixing nitrogen in the soil and improving soil structure.