June dates for the annual AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Strategic Farm walks have been announced.
These open events are an opportunity to see independent research and innovation being put into practice on commercial farms around the UK, explains Ana Reynolds, AHDB head of engagement for Cereals & Oilseeds.
With farms in Scotland and the East, North and South of England, it is hoped there will be strong attendance levels as the industry is undergoing a critical period of change.
“Although agricultural policy is a devolved responsibility, broadly speaking we are seeing a transition away from a highly protected trading environment and a tapering off or capping of direct payments towards becoming a more open trading nation, with a series of payments for environmental and public goods, against a backdrop of high input costs and global pressure to reduce emissions,” said Mrs Reynolds.
“To see initiatives, trials and results that will help shape on-farm decision-making in commercial reality is a unique proposition that we are proud to be able to offer through the Strategic Farm programme.”
This summer will also be the last opportunity for farmers, growers and advisers to see in-person the cutting-edge environmental work and trials forming part of the programme at Brian and Patrick Barker’s Strategic Farm East, in Suffolk.
“The Barkers have been part of the AHDB Knowledge Exchange programme for nine years,” said Mrs Reynolds. “Most recently, they have tested systems to manage lower inputs, trialled cover crop mixes and flowering strips and explored the best options for income from marginal land.
“Their time in the programme is now coming to an end, so we encourage anyone interested in environmental conservation and natural capital to attend their final AHDB farm walk on 7 June. You will also have the opportunity to feed into the first year of trials at our new, soon-to-be-announced Strategic Farm in East Anglia.”
All four Strategic Farm walks will take place during June and anyone interested in attending can sign-up via the AHDB events page:
- Strategic Farm East (Suffolk) hosted by Brian and Patrick Barker – 7 June
- Strategic Farm South (Hampshire) hosted by David Miller – 16 June
- Strategic Farm Scotland (Cupar) hosted by David Aglen – 20 June
- Strategic Farm North (York) hosted by David Blacker – 21 June
The walks are free to attend but attendees are asked to register via the AHDB website to help with catering numbers. BASIS and NRoSO points will be available for attending.