THE FUTURE OF FARMING -A SELECTION OF COMMERCIAL INITIATIVES

SkippyScout is an app produced by DroneAG to support rapid field and crop monitoring by farmers.


Find out more at https://skippy.farm/home/#features and https://droneag.farm/


(Video included to inspire and educate. No endorsement implied.)

Food (nutrition) for thought

This Farmerama podcast includes a feature on food for nutrient density, a new way of measuring the value of food.


The Nutrient Density segment starts at 7.45 and runs for 8.30 minutes.


Recorded at the Oxford Farming Conference 2020 and issued on 23 February 2020.

Breedr has developed an app to revolutionise record-keeping and trading in the livestock market.


Find out more at https://www.breedr.co/


(Video included to inspire and educate. No endorsement implied.)

A thought-piece and interview with Prof Louise Manning (Academic Co-Director of our Rural Business Careers Gateway Course.


In under 30 minutes, study some perspectives on the future of food production and get inspired about how you can apply your  existing professional skills to this challenge.


Produced and distributed by TRT World https://www.trtworld.com/


(Video included to inspire and educate. No endorsement implied.)

HOW IT WORKS - FARMING

Drilling Seed Barley

One of a coming series by Foxes Farm, Colchester during Covid-19 lock-down.

reading - LINKS

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Curated online resource library

Links to high-quality online resources on current topics are curated here. No endorsement of the opinions expressed or the authors is implied by inclusion. The purpose is simply to assist service-leavers to get abreast of current countryside issues.


If you spot a paper elsewhere which you believe should be included below, please send a link and short message to info@ruralink.org.uk

FUTURE FARM FUNDING (STRUTT AND PARKER RESEARCH)

Analysis by Strutt and Parker Research team on the post BREXIT funding model for farming.


From their website: 

This second paper models the effect of the proposed changes for seven  farm types and for three levels of productivity. An important  assumption we have made is that the profits that farmers earn from  agri-environment measures are double compared with current levels.     

The  changes will most affect farms that are highly reliant on Basic  Payments - cereals, mixed and lowland livestock farms. Sectors like  dairy will be less affected.

The net profits of the middle 50% of farmers will fall significantly, by 47-68% (excluding dairy).

The bottom 25% also suffer significant falls, of 22-63%.   

The  top 25% performing farmers are much less affected, with profits falling  by 6-19%. They are less reliant on Basic Payments and the cut is  largely negated by increases in farm productivity and agri-environment  payments.

Click here to download the latest paper or for our first paper click here.

MANAGING THE ENVIRONMENT FOR CONSERVATION

There are several useful publications available form the ACRE website. Specifically, resettling personnel may find the following of most use:

- A Community Guide to Your Water Environment

- Integrated Local Delivery

- B-Lines: A fantastic idea to improve insect mobility and viability: https://www.buglife.org.uk/our-work/b-lines/

ROBOT FARMING

Tractors and other farming equipment is getting ever bigger, heavier and  more expensive. This trend is driving collaboration and even amalgamation of farms. It is arguably not driving greater efficiency. 


Can small robots help? This article, published in The Times and sponsored by Dropbox, promotes the work of The Small Robot Company. It’s worth a read to get you thinking about which future you want to invest in!

ON SUSTAINABLE / REGENERATIVE LIVESTOCK FARMING

Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK - Committee on Climate Change, Jan 2020


Executive Summary (precis'd):

The UK’s net-zero target will not be met without changes in how we use our land. Those changes must start now.

Current policy measures will not deliver the required ambition.

In 2017, emissions from agriculture, land use and peatlands were 58 MtCO2e. With ambitious steps, emissions in these sectors can be reduced by 64% to 21 MtCO2e by 2050.

Our analysis balances the need to reduce land-based emissions with other essential functions of land, including maintaining food production. The actions we identify entail rapid changes in farming practices and consumer behaviour, such that around one-fifth of agricultural land is released by 2050 for actions that reduce emissions and sequester carbon (Figure 1). 

  • Low-carbon farming practices
  • Afforestation and agro-forestry.
  • Peatlands.
  • Bioenergy crops.
  • Reducing consumption of the most carbon-intensive foods (i.e. beef, lamb and dairy) by at least 20% per person and reducing food waste by 20%.


Public Finding should be used to:

- encourage non-carbon benefits of afforestation (e.g. alleviating flood risk, recreation). 

- plant  trees on farms

- incentivise the take-up of low-carbon farming practices (e.g. precision farming)

- restore peatland
- support bioenergy crops in the short term.
 

A range of enabling actions are required including finance and training (skills and awareness).

Policies are needed to encourage consumers to shift diets and reduce food waste.
 

The policies we have identified provide a coherent framework that recognises the essential role of farmers as stewards of the land and encourages real change. The transition is complex, reaching across diverse agriculture sectors, actors and geographies. Success must deliver a ‘just transition’, where all farmers and land managers can benefit from the new opportunities. 

Above all, these changes are intended to make it 'pay' for farmers to reduce emissions for the first time. Continued delay is not an option. It is critical that this change starts immediately. 


Read full report by visiting the website here.

Download one-page infographic here.



HOW TO FARM SUSTAINABLY AND PROFITABLY

Copies of Pasture for Life, It can be done are available free of charge from the PFLA Office via: info@pfla.org.uk, or download your free copy now.


ENVIRONMENTAL LAND MANAGEMENT DESIGN AND THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF GRASS-FED LIVESTOCK IN COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE

Read Jenny Phelps's FWAG blog on future soil management - https://www.fwagsw.org.uk/Blogs/fwagsouthwest/reflections-from-groundswell - and the second part which explains why the new ELM must be based on a public good valuation rather than agricultural set-aside - https://www.fwagsw.org.uk/Blogs/fwagsouthwest/environmental-land-management-design-and-support.

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RESETTLEMENT EXERCISES

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Self-coaching for military personnel to start your personal estimate and plan for a successful resettlement.


Available under the Veterans tab or by clicking below.