Subsidy change and new environmental schemes: new Monitor Farm hosts will rise to the challenge

Six new AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds Monitor Farms have been appointed to help farmers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland prepare for the many changes that lie ahead.

Collaboration, productivity and business resilience are likely to feature strongly during the three years of the programme, as they are all hot topics identified by the new hosts.

AHDB’s Interim Head of Knowledge Exchange, Graham Bannister, who co-ordinates the Monitor Farm programme for arable farmers, said: “What makes this batch of Monitor Farmers unique is that their term will cover a particularly volatile time in farming. Over the next three years it is likely that the farming industry will experience large changes in policy and trade. Monitor Farms are a vital part of the UK farming’s toolbox, helping the industry not just to survive, but thrive.

“We know from our annual Monitor Farm survey that those who attend the meetings find the programme helps them to improve their business decision-making. By being involved at this crucial time farmers can gain independent expert advice as well as sharing knowledge and experiences with their local peers.”

The six new farms, including one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland, bring the total number of Monitor Farms up to 20. The new Monitor Farm hosts were selected by AHDB staff and board members and will be supported by a steering group of other local farmers and agronomists.

The farmers were chosen for their ability to hit the industry’s challenges head-on and to challenge their own thinking.

Graham said: “Being open-minded means they are receptive to trying out new technology and ideas on their farms.” He added: “The Monitor Farm ethos of ‘farmer-led, farmer-driven’ is still key to its success. Farmers who get involved in their local Monitor Farm programme can help drive and direct their industry into a successful future.”

A steering group sets the agenda for each of the Monitor Farm meetings, making sure that the topics are the most relevant for the local farming community.

The new Monitor Farms are:

– Vale of Glamorgan – Dan Moore, R&L Anthony Ltd
– Cheltenham – Andrew Walters, Boddington House Farm
– Cambridge – Matt Redman, Oldfield Farm
– Limavady – Alistair Craig, Carsehall Farm
– Bucks and Beds – Will MacLennan, Dollars Grove Farm
– Thame – Garth Weston, Sydenham Grange Farm

Get involved

Each of the new Monitor Farms will have a launch event this summer.

Meeting dates are:

– Vale of Glamorgan Monitor Farm meeting: 16 June 2022
– Cheltenham Monitor Farm meeting: 21 June 2022
– Cambridge Monitor Farm meeting: 5 July 2022
– Limavady Monitor Farm meeting: 28th June 2022
– Bucks and Beds Monitor Farm meeting: End June 2022 tbc
– Thame Monitor Farm meeting: 6th July 2022 tbc
– To find out more or to register to attend one of the meetings visit https://ahdb.org.uk/events

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