Farmers can now secure a free place at South East Water’s latest sustainable farming event, hosted by 2022 Arable Soil Farmer of the Year, David Miller, on 31 January 2023 at Folly Farm in Hampshire.
The event, which is the first in a series of events from the water company, will give landowners and farmers the opportunity to learn about Mr Miller’s recent cover crop trials, funded by the water company to investigate the value of technique for local groundwater protection from nitrate.
He will share how he has created a profitable arable enterprise through building a more resilient system, with the goal being able to improve soil health and support improved efficiencies throughout his system.
The event, which includes a farm walk and Q&A with Mr Miller will start with an introduction by Mark Slater who is a catchment advisor for South East Water.
Following this, guests will have the chance to view the Folly Farm cover crop trial results. These findings will be discussed by both Belinda Bown, from FWAG South East, and Callum Scotson, from NIAB TAG, who will share wider research findings from Folly Farm and further afield.
South East Water working with farms in the region
Mark Slater, South East Water catchment advisor for Hampshire and Berkshire, explains the vast amount of support the water company provides for farmers within priority catchment areas.
“Our catchment management services focus on key environmental and land management strategies that can help prevent contaminants entering water at the source and therefore, reducing the subsequent cost associated with treatment.
“We have been running cover crop trials at Folly Farm and within the local catchment since 2017 to broaden our understanding of the technique and its value for water quality, then subsequently for IPM, biodiversity and soil health. The findings have supported fantastic uptake of our cover crop grant scheme, with an estimated 48.8 tonnes of nitrate captured by funded cover crops over the last 3 winters.”
Mr Slater says that the company wants to provide farmers with support and solutions that benefit water quality, the local environment and farm productivity.
“The agricultural sector is going through a period of significant change and we appreciate this uncertainty is unsettling for many farmers. However, the need to become more efficient and more sustainable has never been greater,” he says.
About David Miller
Recognised in June 2022 at Groundswell as Arable Soil Farmer of the Year, Mr Miller farms 700 hectares shallow, freely draining loam over chalk at Folly Farm, near Basingstoke.
By moving to a regenerative focused farming system, he has reduced the inputs used for crop protection and fertiliser by introducing strategic cover and companion cropping into his rotations.
Support from South East Water
Catchment advisor, Mark Slater, will be on hand to outline the South East Water funding and advice that is available for local farmers. The water company has been working closely with farmers and landowners in priority catchments since 2015, to help minimise the risk of soil, fertiliser and pesticide run off into watercourses.
Local Catchment Sensitive Farming advisors will also be on hand to highlight government support available.
Two BASIS CPD points will be available for members attending the day.
For further information, or to book online, please visit:
Cover crops for increased nitrate efficiency, soil health and profitability Tickets, Tue 31 Jan 2023 at 10:00 | Eventbrite