Take part in field research to improve skills, open day visitors advised

Being involved in field-level research can improve growers' skills as well as increasing understanding of particular issues, Soil Association head of horticulture Ben Raskin told the Rijk Zwaan UK organic open day.

Field trials: benefits for growers
Field trials: benefits for growers

The Soil Association delivers the Duchy Originals Future Farming programme, which currently funds 25 "field labs" investigating topics across agriculture.

"We growers don't do research very well and if we do we don't tell anyone about it," said Raskin. "Researchers don't necessarily ask first if what they're doing is useful.

"By working through a problem together you strengthen your own problem-solving skills and get more rigorous. Growers may then be keen to get involved in more formal research.

"Meanwhile, we have researchers beating down our door wanting to work with growers - there can be learning on both sides."

He added of the research programme: "We have had three years' funding and are hoping for another three."


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