MID MORNING DISCUSSION - "SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION" - 10.30am ASTOR PAVILION
Keith Truett, Regional Agronomist with NIABTAG, Agronomist with Agrovista and ex farm manager for Sentry Farming.
The talk looks at challenging some traditional approaches and looks at ways to improve margins in combinable crops.
"More inputs and maximum yield may NOT be the best way forward"
“A lot of people are talking about sustainable farming, but I want to look at what that actually means,” said Keith Truett. “I look back to 20 years ago when I was a farm manager and we were growing wheat for £50 to £60 per tonne and selling for around £104 p/t. Today it costs £120 p/t to grow and farmers are only getting around £130 p/t. How is this sustainable or an improvement?”
While most farmers are ahead of managing their soil, looking beyond the financial returns farmers are getting for crops today, Keith will also be looking at the soil health and whether the land is capable of growing into the future.
“You can put facts and figures on the returns, but the soil health is a more woolly and vague subject,” said Keith. “I want to give a hands-on approach to looking at the debates. As the NIAB TAG regional agronomist, I look at trials for cereal crops and there are also plans to look at which products on the market can actually improve our soils.”