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Richard Bramley - Yorkshire Farmer. Profiting from Sustainability Feedback Session April 2015

  1. Sustainable Farming at Manor Farm, Kelfield 24th April 2015 ‘Profiting from Sustainability’ Richard Bramley
  2. Farm facts • 500 acres or more depending on licenses • 2015 -Milling wheat, malting barley (winter and spring), potatoes (Walkers contract), Sugar beet, OSR, Industrial Hemp, Dry Peas • Previous years: Spring beans, linseed and fibre flax • Mainly grade 1 warp and grade 2 loams • Wide adoption of cover cropping • ELS (ends Aug 2015) + extensive voluntary stewardship • Yorkshire natural fibre production- Queens Award winning Harrison Spinks Beds • Eco-holiday let diversification ‘The Dovecote Barns’ 5 star, multi-award winning non-fossil fuel business • Flooding an increasing issue
  3. Bringing farming to the world of upholstery – improving the sustainability of the product and altering customer perception
  4. Key benefits of Cover Crops in a rotation • Bio-diversity boost (supports CFE)- food/ cover/ insects • Traps nutrients between crops (N&P especially) • Reduces pollution as a result • Increases organic matter – soil resilience to extremes/ cation exchange sites/ microbes and earthworms/ erosion • Soil structure/ workability • Some offer biocidal activity • Weed suppression (possible activity against blackgrass) • EFA’s • Progress to more sustainable soil management • No paperwork!
  5. Summary- cover crops • Many benefits to grower and environment • Cost effective • Doesn’t affect productive output of the farm negatively –in fact should improve output • Currently unvalued and EFA rules poorly thought out (changes for 2016?) • Every farm different – explore what fits your business • Some negatives -experiment
  6. Improved sustainability - • Farms form the bedrock of food and the environment in the UK – must properly value their outputs (not just products) • Need to address waste • Need to reduce paperwork! • A thriving farm economy and sensible regulation benefit sustainability in the food chain • Committed growers value a long term approach and can enjoy working up the chain • Need to have sensible policy that does not hinder progress –simple, effective, joined up • Get farmer involvement further up the chain- change public perception of products - the farmers is an asset