“Those with a full stomach have many problems, those with an empty stomach have only one.” (Anon)
Conservation, improvement of the environment, biodiversity within the countryside and sustainable farming practices are key objectives within the UK Government 150 page published “25 yr Environment Plan.”
Farmers and land managers are the main custodians of the countryside. Very few are not interested in their farm or in their farming business and consequently take care not to destroy what they have.
It could be said that this system of care began at the end of the 17th century with the introduction of what has become known as the Norfolk four-course rotation. Wheat was grown in the first year, turnips the second, then barley, with clover and ryegrass under sown in the third. The clover and ryegrass were grazed or cut for feed in the fourth year. The turnips were used for feeding cattle and sheep in the winter. This new system was cumulative in effect, for the fodder crops eaten by the livestock then produced larger supplies of previously scarce animal manure, which in turn was richer because the animals were better fed. When the sheep grazed the fields, their waste fertilised the soil, promoting heavier cereal yields in following years.
Today all of us with full stomach’s have many problems to contemplate some of which may be contained within the 25 yr Environmental Plan.
The volume of information and the depth of knowledge now required to understand legislation and statutory requirements related to sustainable ways of farming, integrated farm management, environmental protection and conservation are constantly increasing. Many find it difficult to comprehend the scale of what is required.
Farmers are excellent at farming however with the refocusing of Government financial support towards a new set of objectives a reconsideration of the business plan may, for some, now be required..
Here at Revive Agronomy we believe that with the correct application of progressive knowledge achieving these new objectives is possible.
There is also nothing wrong with simultaneously creating profit from each arable enterprise by constantly focusing upon the application of fundamental principles of good farming which can sometimes be as simple as the Norfolk Four Course Rotation.