LEAF’s Blog

If you are interested in reading more on a range of subjects from sustainable farming to tips for farmers to preparing for Open Farm Sunday then make sure you bookmark this page to stay up-to-date.

Does LEAF Marque deliver more sustainable farming? Why Outcomes Matter

Jenny Clark, Senior Technical Assistant, discusses the importance of outcome-based approaches, why they matter and the ground-breaking lead LEAF is taking in this area to ensure the LEAF Marque Standard continues to drive forward innovation, improvements and meaningful changes towards more sustainable farming. 

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Soil Health Testing: What? Why? How?

In October 2107, many of LEAF’s great and good met at Cranfield University to discuss the ten-year plan for LEAF Marque. The meeting focused on what best practice will look like in the future and how LEAF Marque needs to adapt to drive change. Soil health was identified as a priority area and the potential of offering farmers a suite of monitoring techniques to evidence their soil health improvements.  Here, Sam Brook from the University of Reading, outlines the scoping study he is carrying out for LEAF examining the what, why and how of soil health testing.  

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Smarter Farming Through Know-how and Networks

The how, what and why of sustainable farming is what LEAF is all about. LEAF is asking some fundamental questions around what sustainable farming looks like, how we measure it and why it matters.  All these questions (and lots more) determine our objectives, shape our ideas and inform our decisions.   Laura Tippin, Technical Assistant at LEAF explains how its management tools, research, demonstration and industry outreach activities provide the essential starting point. 

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Boosting Business Success through Biodiversity

LEAF is all about putting farmers firmly in the driving seat to deliver more sustainable farming.  Our annual IFM Event is a big part of this – bringing farmers, researchers, advisors and industry experts together to explore new ideas, highlight innovations and share ingenuity.  LEAF’s IFM Manager, Alice Midmer, tells us more about this year’s event.

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The power of film to demonstrate innovation and learnings on farm

LEAF’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Simon Bull talks about the importance of farm demonstration to help drive forward knowledge generation and exchange within the farming industry, in particular demonstration, harnessing the power of film.

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Simply Sustainable Biosecurity

This week LEAF will be launching Simply Sustainable Biosecurity, the fourth in our Simply Sustainable series of technical guidance booklets.  Ahead of its launch, Senior Technical Assistant, Jenny Clark, sets out the basics of biosecurity, its importance to sustainability and highlights LEAF’s growing offer in the livestock sector. 

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Keeping your professional development continuous

LEAF’s IFM Manager, Alice Midmer talks about the importance of farmers investing in their own learning to help drive forward a more resilient and responsive farming industry. 

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PLAID: Seeing is believing

LEAF IFM Manager, Alice Midmer discusses the power of farm demonstration activities as a powerful knowledge exchange tool to drive forward more sustainable farming. Here she highlights best practice examples and how LEAF’s involvement in the PLAID (Peer to peer learning. Assessing Innovation through Demonstration) project has the potential to deliver great advances in this area. 

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Intercropping: LEAF Investigates…

Here at LEAF, we are involved with a number of research projects, looking at new and innovative Integrated Farm Management approaches. One area we, and our Demonstration Farmers, will be looking into in more detail is Intercropping. What is it? Why use it? What challenges does it address and what mixes to use.  LEAF Technical Assistant, Laura Tippin, explains more…

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LEAF Marque delivering added value to members

The results of independent research into the added value of LEAF Marque certification were released last week.  The study, commissioned by LEAF and carried out by CCRI (The Countryside and Community Research Institute), reveals that LEAF Marque certification can offer significant financial, environmental and social benefits for farm businesses both in the UK and overseas.  Kathryn Green, LEAF Sustainability Manager, explains more.

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Touching on the Technology of Sustainable Farming

On the 25th May 2017, LEAF will hold its second Integrated Farm Management (IFM) Conference at FERA Science Ltd, York, kindly supported by Bayer. Titled, Technology and Progression in IFM, the conference will draw on research and demonstration activities of the LEAF Network to explore the current role of  technology  in IFM and how technology will shape and progress IFM moving forwards. We ask Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive to reflect on the rise of technology in farming, how it has shaped the farming landscape and its future role.

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