Chair: Tom MacMillan (Innovative Farmers, Soil Association) Speakers: Andy Dibben, (Abbey Home Farm), Liz Bowles, (Soil Association)
Much of the money for agricultural research goes to developing new products to sell to farmers or answering questions about policy. Apart from initiatives like Innovative Farmers, there is precious little support for farmers to do practical research themselves. Yet farmers do it anyway, and practical experiments by farmers – people trying stuff out – are a crucial source of new techniques and approaches. But how do you make the most of this on your farm, or if you’re an advisor or researcher working with farmers? Can you use the methods? How rigorous do you need your results to be?