If you are interested in reading more on a range of subjects from sustainable farming to tips for farmers to preparing for Open Farm Sunday then make sure you bookmark this page to stay up-to-date.
Here we take a closer look at Worth Farms- the farm’s soil history, historical farming practices and how they are continuously improving soil health and fertility.
As we look towards World Soil Day on the 5th December, Professor Jane Rickson, one of the UK’s leading soil health experts, catches up with LEAF Technical Officer, Eleanor Mark to discuss the value of water retention in soils and the challenges faced by many farmers.
Effective partnerships and collaborations are a key driver for change. Lucy Redmore, LEAF Technical Coordinator, reflects on how LEAF is working together with one of its corporate members, Botanicoir, to achieve shared sustainability objectives.
As WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) releases its ground-breaking report setting out new insights into the scale of surplus and food waste on UK farms, Alexandra Lear, LEAF Projects Assistant, outlines the opportunities it offers to improve efficiencies and deliver more sustainable production throughout the supply chain.
There’s no substitute for seeing things in action. You can be told how something works, explained about the merits of a particular farming practice, extolled the virtues of a smart bit of new technology, but it is not until you actually see it in practice, in a real-life situation, that knowledge sticks. Based on the idea that farmers learn best from other farmers and want new ideas, practices and innovations demonstrated to them where it matters – out in the field – LEAF’s annual IFM Field Event aims to boost learning through this science into practice approach. We talk to LEAF Technical Coordinator (Projects), Laura Tippin about what makes an effective demonstration event.
On the 24th April, LEAF will be taking to the road for its Speak Out Roadshow, visiting ten locations across the UK offering communications masterclasses to farmers and researchers. Ahead of the trip, we catch up with Alice Midmer, LEAF’s Demonstration and Innovation Manager who shares her thoughts on why, more than ever, it is time to speak out for British farming…
LEAF Education’s team of Regional Education Consultants (RECs) play a key role out in the regions working with farmers, teachers, schools and colleges as well as local businesses and community initiatives to inspire young people about food and farming. Katy Pallas, LEAF Education REC for the North West shares her thoughts on why Ag Education matters and why we need to showcase and celebrate success.
LEAF is one of the partners in an exciting four year European project called DIVERSify exploring the benefits of ‘plant teams’ or intercropping which basically means growing two or more crops together, at the same time, in the same space. As well as looking at how plant teams can help boost yields and improve sustainability, it is also helping to upskill young researchers through its Young Researcher Program and online Speak Out Toolkit.
Equipping farmers with the right skills and know-how to farm more sustainably is a big part of what LEAF does. This April, farmers and advisers will be heading to our two-day LEAF BASIS ‘Introduction to IFM’ and LEAF Marque training course to get the latest thinking around IFM and an insight into the nuts and bolts of LEAF Marque certification. Emma Hamer, Senior Plant Health Adviser at the NFU, attended the course last year and tells us more about how its feeding into the current review of the Voluntary Initiatives IPM Plan.
On April 9th, LEAF, The Woodland Trust and The Allerton Project are teaming up to deliver an event looking at what would tempt an arable farmer to look into grass leys, livestock and trees and the business opportunities they could bring.
As part of LEAF’s ten-year plan for the development of LEAF Marque, we are focusing on soil health. University of Reading, Masters student, Sam Brook is carrying out a scoping study for LEAF and here he discusses the outcomes of the LEAF member survey and next steps.
Jenny Clark, Senior Technical Assistant, discusses the importance of outcome-based approaches, why they matter and the ground-breaking lead LEAF is taking in this area to ensure the LEAF Marque Standard continues to drive forward innovation, improvements and meaningful changes towards more sustainable farming.
The how, what and why of sustainable farming is what LEAF is all about. LEAF is asking some fundamental questions around what sustainable farming looks like, how we measure it and why it matters. All these questions (and lots more) determine our objectives, shape our ideas and inform our decisions. Laura Tippin, Technical Assistant at LEAF explains how its management tools, research, demonstration and industry outreach activities provide the essential starting point.
LEAF is all about putting farmers firmly in the driving seat to deliver more sustainable farming. Our annual IFM Event is a big part of this – bringing farmers, researchers, advisors and industry experts together to explore new ideas, highlight innovations and share ingenuity. LEAF’s IFM Manager, Alice Midmer, tells us more about this year’s event.
LEAF’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Simon Bull talks about the importance of farm demonstration to help drive forward knowledge generation and exchange within the farming industry, in particular demonstration, harnessing the power of film.
This week LEAF will be launching Simply Sustainable Biosecurity, the fourth in our Simply Sustainable series of technical guidance booklets. Ahead of its launch, Senior Technical Assistant, Jenny Clark, sets out the basics of biosecurity, its importance to sustainability and highlights LEAF’s growing offer in the livestock sector.
LEAF’s IFM Manager, Alice Midmer talks about the importance of farmers investing in their own learning to help drive forward a more resilient and responsive farming industry.
LEAF IFM Manager, Alice Midmer discusses the power of farm demonstration activities as a powerful knowledge exchange tool to drive forward more sustainable farming. Here she highlights best practice examples and how LEAF’s involvement in the PLAID (Peer to peer learning. Assessing Innovation through Demonstration) project has the potential to deliver great advances in this area.
Here at LEAF, we are involved with a number of research projects, looking at new and innovative Integrated Farm Management approaches. One area we, and our Demonstration Farmers, will be looking into in more detail is Intercropping. What is it? Why use it? What challenges does it address and what mixes to use. LEAF Technical Assistant, Laura Tippin, explains more…
The results of independent research into the added value of LEAF Marque certification were released last week. The study, commissioned by LEAF and carried out by CCRI (The Countryside and Community Research Institute), reveals that LEAF Marque certification can offer significant financial, environmental and social benefits for farm businesses both in the UK and overseas. Kathryn Green, LEAF Sustainability Manager, explains more.
On the 25th May 2017, LEAF will hold its second Integrated Farm Management (IFM) Conference at FERA Science Ltd, York, kindly supported by Bayer. Titled, Technology and Progression in IFM, the conference will draw on research and demonstration activities of the LEAF Network to explore the current role of technology in IFM and how technology will shape and progress IFM moving forwards. We ask Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive to reflect on the rise of technology in farming, how it has shaped the farming landscape and its future role.