Review of Member Farm Walks July 2021
Posted August, 11th, 2021
I have been lucky enough to be able to attend three specific BASE-UK member farm walks just recently plus a Farm-Carbon-Toolkit Soil Farmer of the Year walk organised by Becky Wilson at Antony Pearce’s farm near Aylesbury Bucks.
The detail of the farming businesses shared by the members on these occasions is fabulous and difficult to articulate to get full benefit from without standing in the fields with them and experiencing the feeling of crop and soil you only get first-hand.
A common theme through the visits was trialling of compost making techniques, mixes, and the use of biology both home brewed and supportively bought in by the IBC full. All farmers were trying to get away from the traditional can and bag solution and wanted to have their crops fend more for themselves in a healthy active supportive soil. A diverse rotation clearly forms part of this, and their crops were not necessarily “low input” per-se with monitoring, testing and management time forming a larger part of crop inputs than on a farm using prescription agronomy.
Thanks should go Tim Parton, Andrew and Anna Jackson, John and William Cooper and Antony Pearce for their generous time, information and hospitality.
There have been other member walks recently which I was unable to get to due to diary clashes sheer distance and I should also thank those hosts on behalf of the BASE-UK committee and attendees for taking the trouble to open their farm gates to the membership.
BASE-UK is out on its own in promoting farmer to farmer knowledge exchange to the level that it does and this is only as successful as it is due to the ever growing engaged membership.
Many thanks to all involved.
The start of the day.
Tim's fantastic soil!
It's good to have a companion or two...
Oilseed Rape with White and Berseem Clover.
Drill adapted for biology applications.
Farmer input on crimper design!
Fantastic wheat crop!
Lessons learnt with Spring Barley this year.
First stop of the day.
Grass seed combined with grazing livestock is a new venture for Andrew.
Deep discussion on growing wheat.
Skyfall planted with the "Cooper" cross-slot.
Peas sown into an oat nurse companion crop.
The Cooper compost turner is a beast!