Frederic Thomas who is a farmer, publisher, adviser, founder and President of BASE France presented his thoughts on a modern sustainable form of agriculture to the BASE-UK members at three meetings across the UK in mid
November. The essence of his talks were based on conservation agriculture which has its foundation based around building carbon into the soil to improve the soil for the benefit of the farmer and the wider environment.
He firstly showed the changes he had made to his own soil on his farm in France which is located just south of the city of Blois. A tricky sand based soil which covers a subsoil of clay leaving the soil very prone to wet and dry weather when the soil goes very quickly from being water logged to suffering from drought and vice versa.
Frederic then showed us how he build carbon into his soils with crop residue, compost and cover crops and the affect this is now having on water management (draining and retaining water) in his soils.
He then explained different ideas and methods he had picked up during his extensive worldwide travels to help farmers meet challenges of fertility, pest and weed control in their respective crops.
The benefit of bringing farm animals back to farms was also presented and the boost they can give to farm profitability, soil health and biodiversity.
Overall a very informative and inspirational meeting and for those who couldn’t make it then the video from the Northampton meeting can be viewed here.
The video presentations and slides by Frederic Thomas to BASE-UK members have been added to the resources section. Members have been emailed a password.
Direct link for members: Frederic Thomas 2014