Currently it appears that many of our Spring events may be curtailed by the Covoid-19 outbreak.

So, although we remain optimistic for our Soil Farmer of the Year summer farm walks, it would be prudent to assume that we may all still be in a socially distancing situation.

With this in mind, we are also looking forward to the Autumn, when the Soils Team will be fully socially active again.

An upcoming Autumn project for Thames Water will deliver 6 soils workshops.  These will concentrate on demonstrating management techniques which actively improve water quality. The one- day events are to be held across the region and will feature farmers who have built these practices into their own farm businesses, speakers with practical experience and farm demonstrations/walks.

We will also be running the Metaldehyde reduction scheme in Oxfordshire for Thames water. IfA have had this contract since 2017 and have had 100% success with water sampling during this time.

During the spring/summer we will refine our Basis Soil and Water course and the delivery of this will resume in the Autumn. The course is full of practical and theoretical training, demonstrations and visits, which lead to the Basis certificate at level 4 for farmers. The level 6 qualification for agronomists should be available by the end of the year, alongside an online option. These two, key qualification, will be increasingly important for improving land management and demonstrating soil knowledge, likely to be key in a new agricultural policy.

Some members of the team will continue to farm through the coming season, so in many ways it will business as usual from a production perspective. We hope to have an update on events once the situation becomes clear and wish you a safe and busy season.

All the best,

Deborah 

deborahc@i4agri.org