The Producers’ Panel, kindly sponsored by Savills, sets the agenda for the REAP conference by articulating the big challenges facing growers. This session helps to define the opportunity space for scientists, technologists and engineers to consider potential solutions.
For example: Brian Barker, who farms Lodge Farm, which is a HGCA Monitor Farm, is very interested in using rotation to improve soil fertility. He says: “Improving the quality of the soil is a must for any farmer wanting to enhance their crop yield.
“We have run the farm on a 12-year crop rotation since the 1970s, to maintain yields and increase the biodiversity.
“However, we are continuously innovating and are currently trialling 6 different mixtures of green cover crops, including rye, oat and mustard over the winter to find which one produces the best microbiota for the soil. We anticipate that this will reduce the need for fertilisers and lower costs and it would be good to compare our experiences with others at REAP.”
Savills is an appropriate sponsor for this important element of the conference, as the company partners with its rural clients to develop entrepreneurship, innovation and strategic solutions which deliver commercial results.
Producers on the panel this year: Tim Whitehead, Farm Manager, Vine Farm, Royston; Brian Barker, EJ Barker and Sons, Stowmarket; Andrew Francis, Farms Manager, Elveden Estate.
To see the programme and register click here.