A farming charity has launched an appeal to fund research that will help farmers capitalise on changes to agriculture following subsidy reform.

The Norfolk-based Morley Agricultural Foundation said it was inviting bequests to support the viability of the industry across East Anglia as farmers get to grips with the introduction of Environmental Stewardship and the single farm payment.

Chairman Nick Stead said: “We are looking for people who have a love of farming and the rural way of life, and hope to reach people who would like to give financial support to long-term research projects.”

The appeal was launched at the foundation’s AGM yesterday (26 January).

It coincided with the presentation of a research paper examining the survival of grass weeds in over-wintered stubbles – a popular option in the entry level stewardship scheme.

If enough money is raised, the charity believes it could support up to five post-graduate students a year, each conducting research into subject areas selected by a board of trustees.

Suffolk farmer and Morley board member John Wallace emphasised that the appeal was for bequests, rather than donations.

“We are certainly not looking for farmers to put their hands in their pockets,” he said.

For further details, call 01953 713 203.