As farmers are required to produce more and more from their land, the skills and knowledge of the farm adviser are becoming more important than ever. Sustainable intensification is an important approach for farmers and all land professionals, but how practical or useful are the techniques and tools being developed, and how willing will clients be to adopt new systems?
In association with the SIP, landbridge, a knowledge exchange network for rural professionals, it is coordinated by Amy Proctor and Jeremy Phillipson at Newcastle University. The workshop event was hosted at Newcastle University’s Nafferton Farm on 8th September 2016, and provided opportunities for advisers to explore these issues and learn more about the Sustainable Intensification Research Platform. With a keynote from Michael Winter (University of Exeter), and excellent presentations from SIP Study farm leads Gillian Butler (Newcastle University), Chris Stoate (Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust) and Dave Chadwick (Bangor University), the day also featured a farm walk to examine the interventions being tested at Nafferton.
The workshop included lively breakout sessions where advisers, their professional associations, representatives of agricultural and ancillary industries, researchers and knowledge exchange specialists. It considered how advisory professionals might use the findings emerging from the SIP, and further refine them using their own knowledge and expertise in providing advice to clients.
Findings from the event will be used to generate recommendations for a forthcoming SIP policy guidance on the role of advisers in sustainable intensification.