Andy Bason has because the first farmer from Corteva Agriscience’s Resilient & Ready programme to be launched as a LEAF Demonstration Farm.
In May, Andy and his team at Newhouse Farm, near Winchester, welcomed guests for a tree-planting ceremony to mark the occasion before leading a farm tour to demonstrate their approach to managing woodland, environmental stewardship schemes, biodiversity and soil health.
The event was the culmination of three years of the immersive, inaugural Resilient & Ready programme which aims to help farm businesses become more sustainable.
Farming more than 1,000ha of arable land, with an additional 400ha of contract farming land, a small sheep flock and pig herd, Andy has embarked on numerous new projects, including an ambitious woodland creation scheme. In the past year he has also embarked on an agroforestry project, planting a total of 400 walnut, apple and pear trees on the estate to create a natural carbon store.
For Andy, the programme has helped realise his ambition of engaging more with the public and sharing farmers’ incredible work with a wider audience.
Andy said: “I’m really proud to be launching as a LEAF Demonstration Farm and welcoming visitors to share what we have achieved on our Resilient & Ready journey.
“On the back of the training and knowledge we’ve had from LEAF and Corteva, it has given me a new-found confidence. The next chapter is about getting people onto the farm and showing them all the good work British farmers do.”
Alice Midmer, LEAF Consultant said: “It’s a thrill to be doing exactly what we said we’d do when we launched the Resilient & Ready programme in 2019, culminating in the launch of our first Resilient & Ready LEAF Demonstration Farm.
“The farmers have embraced a number of opportunities during the programme, including access to experts, such as Andy Guy, Ian Robertson of Sustainable Soil Management, and Kirsty Brannan at Oakbank to work on developing their integrated farm management, soil testing, and helping wildlife to thrive on-farm.”
Giles Field-Rayner, Corteva Agriscience’s UK Business Development Manager said: “Back in 2019, we could see how UK farming policies were changing and farmers would be required to focus more on the environment while producing more from less.
“Andy and his fellow Resilient & Ready participants have been at the forefront of sustainable farming, taking opportunities to explore new ways of increasing the resilience of their businesses ahead of new challenges.
“The opportunity for growers to get involved with Corteva’s trials is a huge benefit of being part of the programme and gives us early understanding of the new products and solutions we are producing for farmers.”