Fieldwise ViewPoint - Nick Rainsley

Sustainable Food and Farming

2018 is a milestone year for Hutchinsons, marking eight decades of service to UK agriculture.

Not surprisingly, consumers are becoming much more interested in the ways our food is produced, as well as the impact of farming on health and the environment. This trend is likely to continue as the government seeks to change its support structure for farming towards promoting environmental measures on farm.

At Hutchinsons we strongly believe it is increasingly crucial to help promote a positive image of UK agriculture to the general public and part of that process is to utilise Integrated Farm Management (IFM) techniques by our agronomists when advising clients. Part of this process is to use a number of cultural control techniques and treatment thresholds to optimise the use of nutritional and crop protection inputs. This is not only beneficial to the environment, but also reduces the risk of a build-up of resistance as well as optimising economic returns to our clients. Our research into precision farming techniques, utilising our Omnia system, is another way of promoting a more sustainable agricultural model.

It is because of this philosophy that Hutchinsons are long-term supporters of industry-wide initiatives such as LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), whose network of Innovation Centres (the latest being East Malling Research in Kent) seek to generate scientific research to help refine IFM techniques which can be promoted throughout the food chain on their demonstration farms.

The next step in the process of promoting sustainable farming practices is to get the message across to the general public and the LEAF Open Farm Sunday Event is an ideal way of helping to achieve that goal. Last year Open Farm Sunday attracted over a quarter of a million visitors to events on some 358 farms across the UK and Hutchinsons’ farmer clients and agronomists were involved in a number of these events, promoting a positive image of the farming industry.

This years’ event will be taking place on Sunday, 10th June and we would encourage as many of you involved in agriculture as possible to join Hutchinsons in supporting local events, to help promote the image of a sustainable British food and farming industry.

Nick Rainsley