Our aim is to put farmers in the driving seat of research to speed up the adoption of agroecological farming practices in the UK. By introducing farmers and researchers to the benefits of on-farm research, they are supported to collaborate and find solutions to agricultural problems.
We have developed a proven model for engaging farmers, researchers and other industry professionals to collaborate on-farm trials that we call field labs. Since 2012, we’ve launched over 150 field labs across the UK, awarding over £450k of funding in small grants to groups of farmers. This funding helps cover the costs of a researcher’s time and any other equipment or inputs required. This takes some of the risk out innovation and gives farmers and growers the confidence to test ideas that otherwise would have remained on the drawing board.
“Field labs are helping us change the way we farm. After trialling cover crops on four hectares in our field lab, we are now going to put 60 hectares of them across the farm. And in 10 years I’d really like to be doing it across the whole farm, once we’ve learned a bit more.”