Serving the Farming Industry across the Midlands for 35 Years
Different crop plots at Cereals will showcase a range of approaches to growers Plots highlight alternative revenue sources

Experts from Catchment Sensitive Farming will be on hand to offer farmers advice and grant support at this year’s Cereals event.

Face-to-face advice is increasingly important when it comes to ensuring farmers are best placed to deliver environmental benefits, says CSF adviser Mark Taylor.

“It’s a great way of meeting farmers,” Mr Taylor explains. “Previously we worked with farmers in high priority areas. But now every farmer is in a catchment of one sort or another – right across the country.”

A CSF crop plot at the Cereals event will showcase different conservation mixes – including wild bird mixes and pollen and nectar. The aim is to highlight the benefits of signing up to Countryside Stewardship, says Mr Taylor.

“Farmers will be able to come along, see what the mixes look like and get advice on how to grow them. The Defra team will be on hand to talk about the Sustainable Farming Incentive and other environmental schemes too.”

Other plots looking at soil structure and soil health. “We hope to have a living mulch crop with an understorey companion crop to the cash crop which can to help reduce inputs such as pesticides, fertilisers.”

Root systems

These plots will highlight how root systems developed by companion crops can help improve soil structure and soil health, explains Mr Taylor.

A maize plot will demonstrate the importance of crop establishment, including the practicalities and timing of under-sowing maize and how it can be managed and supported throuygh countryside strewardship.

“By doing that, farmers can reduce soil erosion and water pollution – and improve water quality. It gives the harvesting machinery something to travel on, and it’s going to provide that green cover over winter.

“Green cover rather than bare maize stumble can reduce soil erosion, improving soil health and water quality. “When it grows on and dries up a bit, it could also offer an additional income through grazing or a cut of silage,” says Mr Taylor.