Press Release •  18/12/2020

Resilient and Ready Programme Kicks Off Online

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This week marked the formal launch of the Resilient and Ready Programme from Corteva Agriscience and LEAF, which aims to support four farmers on the path to becoming industry innovators and leaders.

Nearly 100 participants joined the webinar, which was chaired by LEAF CEO Caroline Drummond MBE and consultant Alice Midmer, to find out more about the three-year programme of training, technical support and mentoring designed to help farmers adopt more sustainable farming and build the resilience of their own businesses.

Each of the Resilient and Ready farmers talked about why they got involved in the programme, their expectations and experiences so far in a series of breakout sessions focusing on the key issues facing farmers - biodiversity, soil health, energy, and water quality, all of which are at the crux of the biggest shake-up in farming policy for over 70 years.

If you missed it, here are some snippets of our farms and experts what they have learnt on the programme so far and how it is helping to achieve their objectives.

Nature’s Calling

In this session, we meet Resilient and Ready farmer Nick Down, manager of the Yattendon Estate in Berkshire and Kirsty Branning, from natural habitats specialists Oakbank. The discussion covered the work being done on Nick’s farm and invaluable advice for farmers planning to strengthen their focus on nature and biodiversity on farm ahead of the environmental land management schemes being introduced by government.

Trials and Tribulations

Ben Lowe is a new entrant tenant farmer in Udny, Aberdeenshire, and leads this session about the role of trials in accessing information to make more informed business decisions. Ben is joined by Corteva Agriscience’s Head of Marketing Simon Parker, who highlighted how information gathering can empower farmers to become more resilient ahead of major changes to farming policy and the increasing emphasis on sustainability and biodiversity.

Soil Stuff

Andy Bason is farm manager at Newhouse Farm, Hampshire, an 800-hectare estate which has been min-till cultivated for two decades. Andy leads this session on soil health and gives the audience insight into his work with soil health expert Ian Robertson carrying out various tactics including digging holes, counting earthworms, and implementing cover cropping. With environmental protection dominating much of the conversation around farming in recent years, this session provides guidance for farmers who want to dig deeper into how their soils are performing and make the most out of the nutrition already in the soil.

Do you have the energy for carbon auditing?

With the government’s net zero by 2050 goal in sight, carbon auditing is the phrase on everyone’s lips within the industry. But what does it actually entail on farm? Resilient and Ready farmers Craig and Claire Grant and Harriet Ross are farmers in Aberdeenshire and use this session to recommend specific tools to monitor energy efficiency on farm as the industry faces the challenge of achieving climate targets. They are joined by Andy Guy, independent sustainable food and farming consultant, who offers advice for farmers looking to make changes on their farms.

You can find each of the sessions here:

Introduction to session:

Nature’s Calling:

Trials and Tribulations:

Soil stuff:

Do you have the energy for carbon auditing?

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