A cropping and livestock production strategy in which the farmer seeks to conserve and enhance the environment while economically producing safe, wholesome food. Its long term aim is to optimise the needs of consumers, society, the environment and the farmer.
Development that meets the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
Valued supply contracts via LEAF Marque – with Waitrose and others
Improved stock condition from IFM
Premium prices for the product
Increased visitor revenue (OFS/Demo farms)
Increased direct sales from LEAF events
Easier access to Higher level Agri-environment
Benefits of £2,000 – £7,000 annually
For the number crunchers! 200 85 17000 Using GPS precision farming technique for applying phosphate/potash and lime with variable rate spreaders This has led to developing a contract spreading business covering 5000 additional acres 600 30 18,000 GPS soil analysis has targeted fertiliser application 20 1,000 20000 being able to supply multiples 520 38 20000 Ability to supply Waitrose with potatoes 100 250 25000 Reduction of pesticide usage due to the fact that with some enviornmental changes we did there was a increase in the auxiliar fauna 762 33 25000 Using GPS equipment 600 42 25000 PLACEMENT OF FERTILIZER 1727 35 28000 use of GPS variable rate fertiliser application 370 81 30000 A creditable standard to supply with farm size ha Saving per hectare £ Annual gross saving £ Example economic benefit
Significant environmental benefits Membership develops more environmental awareness “ I’m sure it has helped change my attitude and helped cement some of those ideas in my head. It has progressed my attitude to the environment, rather than let it get stale” Visible benefits for wildlife: bird species, field margin flora, new features Increasing benefits to soils and water.
More environmental benefits Environmental regulations “ It provides a checklist for your regulatory requirements and gives you peace of mind” “ It’s a good vehicle to make sure that you are up to scratch with all the legislation” “ The audit pricks your conscience where you are not doing something right. If you tick all the boxes it gives you peace of mind and you know you don't have to worry”
Farming can be a solitary occupation, but these LEAF members feel proud and strongly connected with their local community
Significant social benefits “ LEAF has had a big impact on my communication skills. I am often asked to talk to groups and feel confident in doing this now”. “ The group that has been particularly rewarding was a group of inner city children. I shall never forget: I took them into an open field and they were absolutely overawed with the sense of space, the thing we take for granted. They were hopping and skipping” “ Although the Open Day is absolutely exhausting and you are drained by the end of it, it is really satisfying to see the level of enjoyment”
More social benefits “ People have found us more approachable, people will stop and talk and have a look over the fence at the cows” “ We have had groups around and talk to people that we wouldn’t have normally expected to talk to; and it gives people a face and someone to talk to if they see something that they are not sure about. They feel more comfortable about coming to you to ask about it, rather than going away and grumbling about it” “ The more of the general public we can get out on the farm and reconnect them with where their food comes from, the better. Over the last 20 years people have forgotten”
In Summary some ideas Closing the Yield Gap? Farm more sustainably Do dig a little deeper Gross Margin – look at inputs “ Horizon Scan” Innovations for efficiency Sustainable Intensification Is there a marketing opportunity?