SOUTHWEST SUSTAINABLE FARMING EVENT LAUNCHED
11th July 2022
Region: South West
A new one-day technical and demonstration event in the Southwest will provide grassland farmers with the opportunity to explore how regenerative farming techniques can exploit the advantages of grassland farming to develop systems that are fit for the future and truly sustainable.
Grazewell takes place on Thursday 22nd September 2022 at Higher Thornton Farm, Kenn, Exeter EX6 7XH, from 9am -5pm by kind permission of host farmers Chris and Sarah Berry.
“Grazewell will present a practical view of sustainability that is based on meeting three tests,” comments event chairperson Bill Harper. “The first is whether a system provide profitability for the farm. Secondly, does it reduce the levels of Green House Gases and other emissions, and finally, does the farm system meet the social requirements of the people and the community involved?”
With an emphasis on practicality, the event will be structured into work area pods looking at different aspects affecting sustainable farming. These include soil health, grass species selection, grassland husbandry including infrastructure, slurry and farmyard manure treatments, breeding and genetics, animal health, and carbon foot printing.
There will be a mix of demonstration plots and a working Bokashi manure composting system. Technical stands will include British Grassland Society, Kingshay, IGER Rothampstead, and Innovation for Agriculture. Visitors will be able to learn about the latest practical support from a wide selection of trade stands including genetics businesses, feed companies, forage seed providers and veterinary practices among others.
There will be a full programme of keynote speakers. Professor John Gilliland will describe progress in Northern Ireland on Soil Organic Carbon mapping and on large scale trial results achieved using mixed swards. Eminent soil scientist Professor Carl Ritz, from Nottingham University will describe what is happening in our soils and how we can improve soil health. Professor Elizabeth Stockdale, CEO of NIAB and the incoming president of the British Grassland Society, will explore the interactions between grass species, the soil and livestock. More speakers will be added before the event.
There will be a farmers panel of outstanding young practitioners who are well advanced in their journey towards a more sustainable business and can offer an honest view of what is required.
There will also be species specific areas with National Sheep Association SW leading the sheep section. The National Beef Association will run the Beef area while the NFU are hosting the Dairy Area. Finally there will be an area looking at Countryside Stewardship schemes and Natural/Environmental Capital values.
Mr Harper comments: “The aim is to draw together experts and suppliers across the whole sphere of regenerative and sustainable farming and help farmers start on the journey to develop businesses that are fit for the future.”
“The Grazewell event is the start of an on-going initiative to help farmers improve the resilience of their business by joining with likeminded farmers to share ideas and experiences through our social media platforms.
Entry is £14 on the gate or £12 pre-booked. Admission is free to members of YFC and agriculture students. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to https://www.facebook.com/grazewellevent