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September 2017

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6th Symposium on Soil Organic Matter

6th Symposium on Soil Organic Matter

Event date: 
Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 12:00 to Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 12:00

Healthy Soils for Sustainable Agriculture - the role of SOM.

For more information and the full programme, please click here


Beef from Grass project

Beef from Grass project

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:30 to 14:30

Join AHDB Beef & Lamb for an event at Bragborough Hall and Pilkington Farms Ltd, two of the eight farms that are involved in the Beef from Grass project.

The Beef from Grass project aims to improve grassland management on four beef farms across England. Each improver farm has been assigned a mentor, who is a beef or dairy farmer who already practices good grassland management.

Bragborough Hall, a 100 cow suckler herd is one of the improver farms involved in this project and Pilkington Farms has been assigned as their mentor. This event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the grassland management changes implemented at Bragborough Hall and the effect it has had on beef performance. Additionally there is also an opportunity to visit Pilkington Farms Ltd, an autumn calving dairy herd which milks 1,000 cows on a purely grass based system.

Venue: Bragborough Hall, Daventry, Northamptonshire, NN11 7JD

For more information please click here 

12/09/2017 - 10:30 to 14:30
Smarter Farming for Soils, Health and Water Management

Smarter Farming for Soils, Health and Water Management

Event date: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 10:00 to 16:30

Venue: Smarter Farming for Soils, Health and Water Management

How can “smart agriculture” help farmers improve the health of their soils and optimise water use efficiency? That’s the question we’ll be tackling in the second in our series of meetings in partnership with the SMART-AKIS EU Smart Farming platform.

Automated irrigation scheduling and remote soils monitoring are already in commercial use on some farms – but the innovation pipeline is brimming with new ways to help growers make best use of some of their key resources. With a series of short talks from industry and academia you’ll hear how these technologies are being used on farms, as well as having the opportunity to have your say about the practical aspects of embedding these new practices in your business and what you want to see the future hold. We’ll also be considering data transmission between on-farm devices, the cloud and the grower and how this information can lead to greater knowledge about crop performance and the well-being of soils.

This event will feature introductions to exciting companies with innovative new technologies already in the market, such as Delta-T Devices, Soil-for-life and Soil Moisture Sense and others. Prof Jane Rickson and Dr Rob Simmons, members of Cranfield University’s Environment and Agrifood Centre, will give an overview of applied research underway relevant to Smart Farming including aspects of soil erosion and its mitigation, and the management and engineering of land as a resource.  There will also be a visit to see some of the research facilities at Cranfield after the workshop.

Taking place from 10am – 3pm on Thursday 14th September, this event is FREE to attend but prior registration is essential. 4 BASIS points are available to attendees.

14/09/2017 - 10:00 to 16:30
Trees and Livestock

Trees and Livestock

Event date: 
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 10:00 to 15:30

Venue: Fincastle Farm, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5RJ

A practical one day workshop exploring the pros and cons of integrating trees, woodland and livestock in upland farming systems
What is the role of trees and woodland on an upland livestock farm today? This workshop will explore the potential benefits of on-farm trees and woodland for your livestock and for upland farming in general. Presentations will explore the influence of trees on animal behaviour, the practicalities and economics of combining grazing animals with trees and woodland and the grants and support available. Andrew will then lead us on a farm walk including a visit to his new wood pasture planting designed for stock grazing and shelter throughout the season. Then a short workshop will explore the opportunities and challenges of integrating trees and livestock.

Download the flier here

15/09/2017 - 10:00 to 15:30
Agroforestry for growers

Agroforestry for growers

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 10:00 to 15:30

A practical one day workshop exploring the pros and cons of integrating trees and vegetable production.

Integrating trees into an organic horticultural system offers opportunities to diversify the business as well as environmental benefits. This workshop will provide practical advice and pointers on implementing agroforestry systems on your farm.

The day will centre on Iain Tolhurst’s recently planted agroforestry system with plenty of opportunity for discussion. We will explore the pros and cons of planting trees for agroforestry in horticultural businesses. There will be advice on species choice and design; tree establishment and understorey management; the economics of planting and managing trees; and grants and support available. We will also report on some of the research and monitoring we have been doing as part of the AGFORWARD project, and a short workshop will explore the opportunities and challenges of integrating trees and vegetables.

For more information please click here

19/09/2017 - 10:00 to 15:30
Women In Dairy Conference

Women In Dairy Conference

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 09:45 to 15:45

Venue: Sixways Stadium, Worcester, WR3 8ZE

Insights into the current global milk market and accessing finance are just two of the topics at this year’s Women in Dairy conference on 20th September at Sixways Stadium, Worcester, delivered by a stellar line-up including CEO of First Milk Shelagh Hancock and head of agriculture at the Co-op Ciara Gorst.
The event, which is principally sponsored by HSBC, will also feature HSBC’s head of agriculture Neil Wilson alongside agriculture manager Denise Llewellyn. Staffordshire dairy farmer Lucy Muir will give her experience of juggling a successful business and young family. Paul Harris of Real Success and family farm facilitator Sian Bushell complete the programme with short workshops on communication and succession respectively.
Di Wastenage, RABDF council member, dairy farmer and newly appointed patron of Women in Dairy, will chair the day.
Di says: “The conference provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the diversity and talent that women bring to our industry. It’s a chance to connect with each other, share experiences and be inspired by top speakers.”
Emily Egan, Women in Dairy national coordinator, adds: “We hope delegates will leave with fresh ideas – either from the speakers or from each other – that they can implement in their own businesses back home.”
Andy Hipwell, regional agriculture director at HSBC, says the bank recognises the pivotal role played by women in dairy farming and the lack of opportunity many have for personal development. “We are pleased to support an event which tackles some of the most thorny issues in the sector today – communication, succession, finance and market opportunities.”
The conference is organised by the Women in Dairy steering committee comprised of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) and Promar International, and is supported by AHDB Dairy.
20/09/2017 - 09:45 to 15:45
Soil Health for Nursery stock, Leicestershire

Soil Health for Nursery stock, Leicestershire

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 10:30 to 15:00

Improving the health of soils is fundamental to the agronomic and financial sustainability of horticultural enterprise. Which soil health measurement methods are relevant to Nursery Stock? What management options are available to improve soil health within context of rotations and/or soil sterilisation.

The event will be led by Dr Martin Wood, Soil Scientist at the Earthcare Technical (see bio below) and is hosted by Coles Nurseries (see more below).

Who should come? The workshops are aimed at growers, but may also be useful for advisors. We expect that participants will already have a basic understanding of the link between soil health and plant health and will be looking to understand more about this and how soil testing can be used to strengthen their growing system. Workshops are open to all, however in the event of high demand, preference is given to AHDB levy payers and Associate Members. Find out more about the benefits of AHDB Associate Membership.


• Introduction to Great Soils project 
• How to measure Soil Health? 
• Soil Health measurement methods relevant to Nursery stock


Afternoon session outside
• Main features of soil including structure assessment
• Management options to improve Soil Health within context of rotations and/or soil sterilisation
• Demonstrate measurement of infiltration, bulk density
• Summing up/closing

Please email Simone Osborn at [email protected]with any queries. Sign up here for GREATsoils updates.

For more information visit

26/09/2017 - 10:30 to 15:00
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