Natural England
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Don't miss out on free Soils for Profit events for Westcountry farmers

There is still time for farmers in the South West to take advantage of this winter’s programme of free workshops and training events organised by Natural England’s Soils for Profit (S4P) project.

The forthcoming programme of events consists of:-

Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) Workshops – Nine free NVZ sessions have been set up to provide practical advice on NVZ regulations and compliance, with plenty of practical tips and money-saving ideas that could help farmers reduce their overheads.

'Farming More Precisely’ (FMP) farm events – these events are designed to demonstrate how farmers can increase yields, save money and benefit the environment by managing their soils, manures and nutrients more precisely.  Ten events will be hosted by farmers who have  already successfully put the advice from S4P  into practice.

PLANET Training Workshops – Nine seminars providing farmers with free, hands-on expert advice in the use of PLANET computer software to help with nutrient planning, fertilizer management and  NVZ record-keeping using data from the farmer’s  own  business.  Separate workshops are available for existing users and complete beginners.

Attendance is free but places are limited.  To find out more and to reserve your place for the NVZ workshops and Farming More Precisely farm events please contact Smiths Gore Taunton on 01823 445 030, and for the PLANET Training Workshops please contact Promar on 01270 616800.

The events have been organised by the Soils for Profit (S4P) project which works in partnership with the SWARM Knowledge Hub, the Environment Agency, Rural Focus, Catchment Sensitive Farming and Defra’s Farm Advice Service.

A representative from the Farm Advice Service (FAS) will be on hand at some of the events to answer questions about cross compliance. The FAS will be contributing to the NVZ workshops and FMP farm events by offering practical guidance and advice on relevant aspects of cross-compliance.

All events and workshops will also include advice on accessing other sources of information and support including Defra’s Farming & Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS) and the Catchment Sensitive Farming grant scheme where relevant. There will also be an opportunity for farmers who haven’t already had one to register for a free S4P on-farm review of their soils, manures and nutrients.

A Soils for Profit spokesperson said: “As well as our existing partners we are also pleased to have the Farm Advice Service team on hand to update farmers on relevant cross compliance issues at some of our S4P events.  We hope that farmers in the South West will take the opportunity to benefit from the practical training and advice while it continues. This should help them to improve their understanding of NVZ compliance, how to manage their soils, manures and nutrients more efficiently and gain hands-on experience in using the PLANET nutrient planning system.”

Soils for Profit offers free training and individual farm advice to help farmers in the South West of England manage their soils in ways that helps their businesses and the natural environment. The advice is farm-specific and free analysis of five soil samples is currently available to farmers who haven’t yet received a free S4P farm visit.

Since it was introduced in October 2009, over 200 group events have been run by the S4P Project, giving practical advice and training to more than 2,000 farmers. In addition, over 2,100 farmers have benefited from on-farm advice funded through the S4P Project.  Between them, they manage over 400,000 hectares of land across the South West.

For further information about the Soils for Profit Project or to arrange a free farm advisory visit please call 0300 060 1244.

Soils for Profit Project

The Soils for Profit Project is one element of the
South West Agricultural Resource Management (SWARM) initiative.  It is currently available to all farming businesses in the region (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire) with over five hectares of land (special arrangements were made for the farmers on the Isles of Scilly).  SWARM is designed to help farmers have more profitable and resilient businesses by managing their soils, manures and nutrients more efficiently whilst reducing the impact of their activities on the environment.

For further information (media enquiries only) please contact:

david.hirst@naturalengland.org.uk
Website: www.naturalengland.org.uk
Twitter: @NaturalEngland

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