Changing the future of food and farming

Oxford Real Farming Conference 2020

Event Date : January 8, 2020

to 9 January 2020

The 11th annual Oxford Real Farming Conference will take place on 8th to 9th January at Oxford Town Hall

ORC and Agricology at ORFC

Agricology returns to ORFC hosting the Agroecology in Practice Room (Assembly Room) and discussions in the St Aldates room, together with the Pasture Fed livestock Association and the Soil Association. These sessions will dig deeper into a range of agroecological practices on a mixture of arable, horticultural and livestock farms, with researchers and farmers sharing their knowledge from experiences in the field. Come and join us!

We will kick off with a session exploring the benefits of pulses in crop rotations. There is a growing potential market for UK-grown pulses, which deliver a range of beneficial agroecosystem services including nitrogen fixation and habitat for pollinators and natural enemies but also face challenges in the production method and route to market. This session will bring together George Young (Fobbing Farms), Christine Watson (SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College), Steve Belcher (PGRO) , Katie Bliss (ORC) and Josiah Meldrum of Hodmedod’s.

Rosemary Collier (University of Warwick) and Adam Keeves (Organic Growers Alliance) will tackle The Impact of Climate Change on UK Horticulture, presenting experiences from UK growers and model examples of the changes to come, with specific detail on insects. The session will aim to highlight the issues growers should pay attention to, but importantly present techniques to build resilience in organic systems. Join for the break out session afterwards in the St Aldates room to share ideas on how you are and could be enhancing resilience.

On day two, we look at the Future of Agroecological Weed Management integrating an ecological and technological perspective; with insights from Chloe Maclaren (Rothamsted Research), Nicola Cannon (Royal Agricultural University), Sarah Cook (ADAS )and Mike Mallett (Maple Farm, Kelsale) who will share some insights on creating a weed resilient system to see how all this can work in practice.

Finally, if you want to get to know your soils better – bring along your soil analyses at 14.30 to the St Aldates room. Becky Wilson (Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit), Jonathan Leake (University of Sheffield) and Mark Measures (EIP-AGRI Soils) will discuss methods of soil analysis (chemical, biological and carbon) and how to utilise the results to inform adaptation in management practices.

ORC’s Lindsay Whistance will speak in the Climate Friendly Farming: Moving Towards the Production of more Agroecological Proteins for Animal Feedstuffs workshop on day two.

At the close of day two there will be a Martin Wolfe Memorial slot to remember Martin, who worked with us for more than 20 years amd was one of agriculture’s outstanding thinkers and innovators. There will be a short video with Martin’s own words followed by contributions from family and supporters, including ORC’s Bruce Pearce, with

the aim of taking forward the work of Martin and Anne at Wakelyns and keeping their memory alive.

For those who can’t make it we will be filming the sessions which will be available after the event on the Agricology YouTube channel!

More information at http://orfc.org.uk/

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