Diver­si­ty in Arable Farm­ing – The how, the why, the what

On April 9th 2019, 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.

On April 9th 2019, 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.

At the event, LEAF Demonstration Farmer, Jeremy Durrant will be talking about his experiences, the benefits and the challenges of the changes he has put in place and where Integrated Farm Management has helped to bring these efforts together …..read on for a teaser of what’s to come.

Poll Dorset Sheep Introducing livestock into an arable rotation can have wide ranging benefits, as demonstrated by E W Davies A previously wholly arable business, by adapting their system and gaining animal husbandry knowledge, they successfully incorporated grass leys and a flock of Poll Dorset Sheep into their rotation. Breed selection is important and is complementary to the other labour demands in the business. Poll Dorset’s lamb in November when arable activities are at their quietest, and so labour demands are distributed through the year and staff time utilised more efficiently.

Optimising Potential Incorporating livestock has enabled the land to be utilised to its greatest potential. Unproductive land goes down to grass and in the crops following grass leys, improved productivity, increased Soil Organic Matter, and decreased weed pressure has been observed. The management and benefits from cover crops are also compatible with and enhanced by livestock grazing.

Market Diversification and Demand There is market demand for high quality meat with leading animal welfare and sustainability credentials, and livestock included in an arable rotation are in a strong position to deliver this. For E W Davies, their product and being LEAF Marque certified has opened up access to a competitive market, providing a secure and profitable price for the season.

Jeremy will be talking through his system and the integrated benefits across the farm at the upcoming event in April. In addition, we will hear from Stephen Briggs about the role trees and agroforestry play in his business as well as Agroforestry expert, Jo Smith from the Organic Research Centre about the different agroforestry options available. We will tour the trials and on-farm research on going at Allerton and hear from Farm Manager, Phil Jarvis about what benefits and opportunities these approaches have brought the business.

For more information on the event and to book on click here.