Seven primarily cereal farms in England are being sought to become AHDB monitor farms to showcase improvements in productivity and environmental management.
Candidates should be largely cereals farms, but with a mixture of other enterprises such as potatoes, beef or lamb, dairy or field vegetables, from Devon and Kent to Cumbria and Northumberland.
The new farms will take a whole-farm approach to the project, looking at all enterprises on the farm and so bring all aspects of their businesses to the discussion table.
The farms and their local groups will scrutinise all aspects of their businesses over the next three years, from soil health to machinery policy, comparing costs and also trying out new ideas on their farms.
Whole farm approach
Richard Meredith at the AHDB says looking at the whole farm and the interaction between enterprises will help the monitor farm programme to meet the changing needs of the farming industry.
“We need to help farmers get away from a situation where one enterprise is propping another up,” he said.
Mark Wood, who hosted a monitor farm in Herefordshire from 2014 to 2017, said: “The monitor farm programme enabled me to really analyse my business, to find out what the issues are and how to solve them.”
Interested farmers are encouraged to apply in the following seven areas:
- East Anglia: Norfolk or Suffolk
- South East: Kent
- South West: Devon
- North East: Yorkshire or Northumberland
- North West: Cumbria, Lancashire or Cheshire
- West: Shropshire
- East Midlands: Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, south Lincolnshire or Derbyshire
Those interested should apply via cereals.ahdb.org.uk/monitorfarms or contact their local AHDB knowledge exchange manager.