A new agronomy service has launched for farmers adopting regenerative agriculture techniques.
The Groundswell Agronomy and Consultancy service aims to provide all sectors of agriculture with the solutions they need to maintain and improve farm business profitability in the face of a gradual reduction in basic payments.
It is the brainchild of Groundswell show and conference co-founder John Cherry and his agronomist Richard Harding. Regenerative agriculture is a system with three key principles at its core, permanent soil cover, diverse cover crops and direct drilling.
Mr Cherry said the service would reimagine the way agronomy is practiced, help re-introduce livestock enterprises in innovative ways, focus on “stacking” farm enterprises to maximise profitability and seek to move towards a circular economy.
“The service is available to any farmers interested in investigating anything from a complete system rethink or just one technique of conservation or regenerative agriculture. It can be tailored to provide as much, or as little, ongoing support as required.”
Mr Cherry, of Lannock Manor Farm, Hertfordshire, added: “Farmers often talk of feeling isolated when surrounded by peers who may or may not be supportive of a change to the radically different farming system from the one they are used to.
“Groundswell Agronomy advisers will provide the advice needed to ensure your rural business is financially resilient and agronomically sustainable whatever your farming system; arable, mixed farming, horticulture or mainly livestock.”
The service will include farmer-led collaborative research with each Groundswell agronomist acting as a facilitator of this work, combined with financial and physical benchmarking of small regional farmer groups.
Regenerative agriculture required a long term approach and research would drive innovation, said Mr Harding. “The core underlying value of the service is independent advice and knowledge transfer through industry-wide collaboration.”