What’s on at Groundswell
- Discussion panels & workshops include water catchments, AHDB Soil Pit and ‘Food for Thought’ area exploring links between soil health and a healthy diet.
- Direct drill demonstrations will take place on both days, with 15 machinery manufacturers direct drilling into standing cover crops with minimal soil disturbance.
- More than 100 companies and organisations will present their services and products for farmers with an interest in regenerative agriculture.
- Trials and plot crops including herbal leys, cover crops, trials, biostimulants, spring wheat, bi-cropping, agroforestry, Heritage wheats and no-till potatoes.
A transformed venue will greet visitors to this month’s Groundswell event – the agricultural show focused on no-till techniques and soil regeneration.
The fifth annual Groundswell show and conference takes place on 23-24 June at Lannock Manor Farm, Hertfordshire. It will include a host of ideas on ways to farm while regenerating the soil in the new environmental and political climate.
The overriding theme is set by the principles of regenerative agriculture. Workshops and exhibitions will include sessions by a range of innovative farming companies and field scale direct drill demonstrations.
Taking centre stage will be two new exhibitor and demonstration fields. All sessions will take place in temporary structures dotted between the exhibitions.
Defra secretary George Eustice will be interviewed by former Fleet Street editor Baroness Rosie Boycott. Defra senior civil servant Janet Hughes will discuss how farmers will be rewarded under the government’s Sustainable Farming Initiative.
Host farmer John Cherry said: “The government’s stated ambition for the future of food, farming and the environment is that public money will be spent on public goods that enhance natural capital.
“The new Environmental Land Management scheme will usher in a new era for farming. For any farmer looking to adapt to this scenario while maintaining viability as a food producer, Groundswell is the place to be.”
Keynote conference sessions and rainfall simulator demonstrations will take place in a big top tent. The Earthworm Arms Bar area has evolved with live music taking place on the Wednesday evening and dozens of independent food traders.
More than 100 sessions will take place over the two days. Attendees will hear from a range of people in regenerative agriculture. Visitors will learn about the different principles and techniques – and how they are interpreted by different practitioners.
On stage will be leading soil scientists discussing with innovative farmers about how they are building organic matter and making their farming systems more resilient. There will also be debates on the future of farming policy.
A series of motivating talks and workshops with farmers outlining their strategies for regenerative agriculture – whether through growing more nutritious crops or changing their business to operate more holistically.
Nearly half the attendees to Groundswell believe livestock are key in a truly regenerative system. Sessions will range from building soil carbon in pasture farming to the birth of regenerative dairy farming.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn how to maximise the value of a carcass with advice from veteran butcher Richard Summers. They will also be able to see how pasture-based livestock producers took on the vegan movement at their own game.
Expanding this theme, Groundswell is trying to help connect the dots between farmers and consumers. This year – more than ever – it is looking at different models for vertically integrating the supply chain.
Where: Lannock Manor Farm, Weston, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG4 7EE – within a mile of Junction 9 of the A1(M) in north Hertfordshire on 27-28 June 2018.
Tickets: £60 (+VAT) for one day or £95 (+VAT) for both days. 15% Student and YFC Discounts are available.
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