What are the aims of the competition?
This competition aims to find farmers and growers who are engaged and passionate about managing their soils in a way which supports productive agriculture, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and builds soil organic matter and carbon.
The important bits
Why is it important?
Soil underpins the entire farm system. A healthy well - managed and biologically active soil will support productive and healthy crops and pasture, which in turn supports a profitable and resilient farming system.
A soil that accumulates organic matter will sequester carbon, reduce diffuse pollution, be productive and increase profitability, a win, win, win situation.
An underground revolution
There are farmers from a range of enterprises, locations and scales that are switched on in terms of soil management and are pushing the boundaries and the science forward. It is these farmers that this campaign is aiming to champion.
FCCT - FCCT are passionate about highlighting the skills and knowledge used to manage farm soils effectively to meet the demands of modern farming systems which is essential to the future sustainability of agriculture.
Innovation for Agriculture - Innovation for Agriculture is a consortium of 15 Agricultural Societies who are developing a technical program for farmers. Their work to date has focussed on Precision Livestock Farming and Soil Organic Matter and they are delighted to be a partner in the Soil Farmer of the Year competition.
As well as FCCT and IfA we also have a team of judges that will assess entries including top scientists from North Wyke Research and the James Hutton Institute as well as farmers and partner members.
Our kind sponsors
We are delighted that Cotswold Seeds have kindly agreed to sponsor the Soil Farmer of the Year competition with prizes being awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
Along with the prestigious title of Soil Farmer of the Year, the winning farmer will receive £250 of green manure seed / fertility building leys, the second prize winner, £150 worth of seed and the third prize winner £100 of seed.
Cotswold Seeds is an independent, family run private limited company, founded in 1974 and based in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. The company supplies seeds to over 10,000 conventional and organic livestock, arable and horticultural customers throughout the UK. All seeds are mixed to order so can be tailor - made to individual requirements.
Ian Wilkinson, MD of Cotswold Seeds says, 'Soil health underpins every activity on the farm and many of our seed mixtures, such as herbal leys are designed to improve soil structure and fertility. The soil is a vital resource so we are delighted to be supporting an initiative that encourages farmers to give it the respect it deserves.'