South of England Farming Conference & Forum 2017

Evolution or revolution? The next 50 years

FREE event – online registration is required to secure your place.

FREE event – register online

Date: Wednesday 15 November

Time: 18.00 – 22.00

Conference Chair: Charlotte Smith

The South of England Agricultural Society is 50 years old this year and over this time agriculture and the rural industries have seen significant change – in fact, some would say that over the last 50 years we have witnessed a revolution in farming.

As we look forward to the next 50 years we ask – are we sitting on the edge of a new agricultural revolution driven by technology, environmental concerns and globalisation or will agriculture continue to evolve slowly within a continually changing world?

To help us answer these questions we have an incredible group of speakers.

Conference Speakers include:

  • The Appleton family, Allan, Peter and Chris – three generations of the same farming family will set the scene, describing the last 50 years of dairy farming in Sussex and reflecting on what lies ahead for Chris who has recently taken over the reins.
  • David Wilson, the farm manager of the Duchy Home Farm at Highgrove, will provide his view on how agriculture needs to change in the next 50  years.
  • Peter Kendall, chairman of AHDB, past president of the NFU and an active farmer will set out his vision for the future.

Technical Forum

Time: 15.30 – 17.30

Soil and grassland management for profitable agriculture

The intensification of agriculture over the past 50 years has severely degraded our soils. Erosion and the loss of organic matter has left some to speculate that we only have a generation left before our soils will be unable to support profitable agriculture.

Grass is one of the most important, yet overlooked, resources for livestock and dairy producers. Well managed grassland provides the most economic feed throughout the year, but all too often it is neglected and thus under-performs. Soil health, nutrition, variety selection and grazing management can pay dividends in terms of improving farm profitability.

Our technical forum is aimed at active and progressive farmers and this year we have a great line-up of speakers who will share their knowledge and experience to help you improve your farming practices.

CPD points with City & Guilds and BASIS are available for those attending the Forum.

Technical forum speakers:

  • Stephen Briggs is a soil scientist who has worked throughout the UK and internationally for over 20 years delivering soil, water and crop advice. He also farms 270 acres of land in Cambridgeshire and Rutland so has first-hand experience of managing soils. Stephen will talk about the degradation of soils and what we can do to turn the tide.
  • Rod Bonshor is the general manager for Oliver Seeds which has been advising and supplying forage seeds since 1920. Rod will talk about the importance of variety selection and forage mixes.
  • Oliver Hall is the co-founder and a director of Evolution Farming. He manages a contract farming agreement in Ayrshire and heads up the consultancy arm of the business, specialising in grassland management. Oliver will talk about getting the most of your grassland to drive livestock and dairy profitability.

With thanks to our generous sponsors:

Lloyds Bank; Richard Place Dobson LLP; South East Business Systems Ltd; Mayo Wynne Baxter; CLM; South East Farmer

FREE event – register online