Farming Must Sees

OFC Cereals 2016 Brexit debate from Oxford Farming Conference on Vimeo.

OFC Cereals 2016 Brexit Debate
MANAGING BULL HERDS IN ARGENTINA
Managing bull herds in Argentina

Bull herd management - by the humble donkey

On the Estancia La Isleta farm in Argentina, they use an unusual but traditional method to control their bulls – the humble donkey. Peter Harrison breeds Hereford bulls under a carefully defined selection process and sells around 40 bulls every year to breeding farms. Bulls are naturally competitive and aggressive animals and usually pick one bull in the herd (often the best looking bull) and attack it, sometimes to the point of killing it. The quiet, docile donkey lives amongst the bulls and keeps order becoming a fearsome aggressor when trouble breaks out. They use their loud bray as a defence weapon and bite the neck - or more sensitive parts of the bull – to keep in them in line.

TB Free England
TB Free England

The reality of living with bovine TB

Cheshire dairy farmer Ian McGrath recently lost 11 cattle to bovine TB, bringing the total number of cattle he’s lost to the disease to more than 130 over the past 13 years. The latest group of cattle to be taken for slaughter included the best cow Ian had ever bred on his farm and his stock bull Fred, who was picked out as calf by Ian’s dad a few days before he died. For more information click here.

Yellow Wellies Farm Safety Campaign
Yellow Wellies Farm Safety Campaign

Wurzel’s ‘Combine Harvester’ re-released

The seventies classic ‘Combine Harvester’ has been re-released to highlight the importance of farm health and safety. The Wurzels, who originally released the song in 1974, have written new lyrics and joined forces with The Farm Safety Foundation to promote the Yellow Wellies Farm Safety Campaign that highlights the serious risks of modern day farming. Students from Moreton Morrell College have created a video to support the song and it can be viewed on YouTube.

We have selected the best of the presentations at the Oxford Farming Conference 2015:

Lord John Krebs, Principal at Jesus College, Oxford Louise Labuschagne, Joint Managing Director of The Real IPM Company (Kenya) Ltd Dave Nelson, Vice President of Nelson Family Farms and President of Brokaw Supply Company
Climate Change: Challenge or Opportunity?
Lord John Krebs
Principal, Jesus College, Oxford
Ambitious IPM for Ambitious Agriculture
Louise Labuschagne
Joint Managing Director of The Real IPM Company (Kenya) Ltd
The power of precision agriculture - using tomorrow's tools today
Dave Nelson
Vice President of Nelson Family Farms and President of Brokaw Supply Company
Lord John Krebs, Principal, Jesus College, Oxford
Lord John Krebs

Climate Change: Challenge or Opportunity?

Lord Krebs Kt, MA, DPhil, FRS, FMedSci is the Principal of Jesus College, Oxford and a Professor in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University.

He has served as Chief Executive of the UK Natural Environment Research Council and was the founding Chairman of the UK Food Standards Agency. An internationally renowned scientist, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society and he was knighted for services to behavioural ecology in 1999. He is an independent cross-bench member of the House of Lords and chaired the Science and Technology Select Committee from 2010-2014. He chairs the Adaptation Sub Committee on Climate Change and is a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation.

Watch the video of his speech or download the PDF transcript.

Louise Labuschagne, Joint Managing Director of The Real IPM Company (Kenya) Ltd
Louise Labuschagne

Ambitious IPM for Ambitious Agriculture

Louise was born in Africa, gained a first class honours degree in horticulture at Bath University and now jointly owns and manages The Real IPM Company (Kenya) Ltd. Together, she and her husband, Dr Henry Wainwright have undertaken bioprospecting, applied research, product development and Registration needed to both produce and sell biological control agents in several African countries and export beneficial insects and bio-pesticides to Canada and Europe. The company was established in 2003 and now employs 220 staff and has a turnover of 3.5 million Euros.

When Louise first went to Kenya, her UK counterparts warned her that it would not be possible to use biological control agents there 'because there is no winter to break the life cycles". How wrong they were! Real IPM has reduced pesticide inputs in Kenyan flower crops, that cannot suffer any cosmetic damage - by at least 50%. The bio-pesticides produced in Kenya, are affordable even for small-scale maize farmers and are used on outdoor crops. Real IPM Ltd has learned how to use them with chemical pesticides to improve crop protection with less chemical pesticides. Louise and Henry have been encouraged by UK farmers, who visited them in 2013, to set up Real IPM UK Ltd and help them to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides.

Watch the video of Louise Labuschagne’s speech or download the PDF of her presentation slides.

Dave Nelson, Vice President of Nelson Family Farms and President of Brokaw Supply Company
Dave Nelson

The power of precision agriculture - using tomorrow's tools today

Nelson Family Farms is a partnership of Dave and his wife Fonda with his parents, Gary and Karma Nelson. Their 4000 acre farming operation focuses on the commercial product of Corn and Soybeans. Brokaw Supply Company with stores in Fort Dodge, Iowa and Redwood Falls, MN is the Midwest leading equipment retail business specialising in fertiliser and sprayer application equipment.

Dave graduated from Iowa State University in 1997. After spending eight years with Monsanto and two years with Ziegler CAT, Dave and his wife returned to the family farm in 2007. The Nelson's have experienced tremendous growth in both the farming operation as well as within Brokaw Supply Company. The Nelson's also conduct Research and Development trails as well as Beta test equipment and Precision Ag technology for six different manufacturers.

Dave has been recognized by the National No Till Association as 2009's No Till Innovator of the Year Award, the family was recognised as the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader of the Year. The Brokaw Supply Company was also presented the 2010 Renew Rural Iowa Leader Award.

You can find out more about the Oxford Farming Conference by visiting their website at www.ofc.org.uk


Farmer's wife, Gloucestershire

Farmer's wife speaks out on intimidation tactics used by badger cull protesters

A farmer’s wife has spoken to BBC Radio Gloucestershire about the harassment and intimidation her family suffered during the 2013 badger cull in Gloucestershire. Her family received up to 25 silent telephone calls per night, daily abusive letters and lived with protesters patrolling outside her family home every night.

TB Free England
TB Free England

Cattle shot at David Barton's farm

Farmer David Barton invited the TB Free England camera crew onto his farm to show the hard reality of bovine TB. Click here to read his blog.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO SHOWS GRAPHIC SCENES OF CATTLE BEING SHOT.

Essex Young Farmers Put That Hoedown
Young farmers release charity single

Young farmers release charity single

Members of Essex Young Farmers are hoping to sing their way to the top of the charts with their new charity single, Put that Hoedown, which is available on iTunes and can be watched on YouTube. The single aims to raise awareness of rural awareness and mental health issues affecting young people with the money raised going towards The NFYFC’s Rural+ campaign, Young Minds and The Farming Community Network.

Mark Lynas, Environmental Author and Campaigner
Mark Lynas, Environmental Author and Campaigner

Changing Perspective

In the 1990s, environmental activist Mark Lynas helped start the anti-GMO movement, fighting against genetically modified food crops. But at the 2013 Oxford Farming Conference in January he admitted he had been wrong to "demonize an important technological option which can and should be used to benefit the environment." He now believes genetically modified foods can help us be more sustainable, and can help feed the world and increase health in developing countries.

Mark Lynas is an environmental author and campaigner. His most recent book is The God Species, tracing how humanity must respect the Earth's biosphere to keep the planet habitable. His previous two books, Six Degrees and High Tide, focused on global warming. He was until recently advisor to the President of the Maldives, as well as being a visiting research associate at Oxford University's School of Geography and the Environment.

Watch the video of his fascinating speech or download the PDF transcript.

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