The latest batch of students on our MSc in Organic Farming and Food Production had a wet tour with Simon Bainbridge on his organic farm in Northumberland last week.
Simon is a progressive farmer, constantly developing the business and applying attention to detail with all aspects of farm management.He willingly shared all the details of his cropping plans and rotations, soil analyses, inputs and outputs to help the students practice doing a nutrient budget. Simon had detailed nutrient maps from the cropped fields, from the SOYL soil management system he uses.
The students use a tool developed by the Institute of Organic Trainers and Advisers to find where there may be shortfalls or excess of nutrients and the costs and risks associated with both.
The farm produces finished lambs and cattle for the organic market and all animal feed is home-grown. The crops of red clover and Lucerne looked particularly well in the upland situation and the field margins hosted a mixture of plants that provide even more types of flowers that support pollinator insects.