Newhouse Farm in Hampshire has become the first farm involved in the Resilient & Ready programme, run in partnership by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and Corteva Agriscience, to be recognised for its sustainable farming excellence by becoming a LEAF Demonstration Farm.
Managed by Andy Bason for 10 years, the 800-hectare arable estate near Alresford, was one of four farms selected for the Resilient & Ready programme which supports farmers to become industry leaders in more sustainable, regenerative farming. Over the past three years, Andy has received technical support, training, resources, access to sustainability experts, innovative new products, and one-to-one mentoring – all designed to provide the skills, know-how and confidence to become an industry leader.
Speaking at the launch today, Andy said: “Today signifies both the end and the start of a journey, having reached the finishing post of the Resilient & Ready programme and now embarking on another journey as a LEAF Demonstration Farm. Building resilience and taking an integrated farming approach has always been a big focus for the business. Being part of the Resilient & Ready programme has been an amazing opportunity to learn from other farmers and gain expert insight to help us harness the power of novel research and technology in crop management. Progressing onto becoming a LEAF Demonstration Farm is the next big step and being able to use and better understand science-based evidence will be so important for engaging with both industry and the public. It has certainly been an action-packed three years and I am excited about the future working alongside LEAF and putting into action what I have learnt.”
Welcoming Andy to the LEAF Network, LEAF Chairman, Philip Wynn added: “Today signals the fruition of our hugely successful collaboration with Corteva Agriscience as part of our Resilient & Ready programme. When we set out, our intention was to support visionary farmers with a mindset for change and a willingness to embrace new thinking and technology.
“Andy is the embodiment of just such a farmer and we are delighted to welcome him to the LEAF Network. The farming industry is facing huge challenges – political, economic and climatic, it is imperative that we stay competitive, and farmers are on the front foot. Andy joins a network of farmers who are leading the way in delivering more climate positive farming through Integrated Farm Management. They will play a critical role in knowledge generation and exchange as the industry navigates the next few years.”
Giles Field-Rayner, UK Business Development Manager for Corteva Agriscience, said: “Corteva recognises the important role it can play in investing in the future of farming. Within the Resilient & Ready programme, Andy was recognised as someone who views change as positive, and he had a willingness to look at his business to see what could be done better. As a result of his team’s effort, Newhouse Farm has been able to accelerate its progress and now has more confidence to make the decisions that will make it more sustainable and resilient. Andy is setting ambitious targets to cut carbon, looking at the benefits agroforestry can bring, assessing soils and enhancing wildlife habitats. We are incredibly proud to have worked with him over the past three years and excited about the impact he will make to the wider farming industry as a LEAF Demonstration Farmer.”
Newhouse Farm joins 38 other Demonstration Farms, which together with 14 Innovation Centres, make up the LEAF Network of leading farmers and world class research centres, developing and promoting more sustainable farming through Integrated Farm Management. The Estate was officially launched by Matt Culley, NFU Combinable Crops Board Chairman and the event supported by Corteva Agriscience, Agrii, Hunt Forest Group, Kings Crops and Olivers Winchester.
The Resilient & Ready team are looking for the next cohort of farmers. Farmers wishing to know when applications open are asked to visit my.corteva.com/ResilientAndReady2022