East Anglian farming conference will focus on changing land use
CHANGING land use patterns will top the agenda at today’s Norfolk Farming Conference, held at the John Innes Centre, Norwich.
The one-day event, chaired by St Osyth farmer Guy Smith, will focus on future land use opportunities, including feedstocks for anaerobic digestion, power generation from biomass and the need to balance environmental consequences of agriculture with food security.
Professor Ian Crute, chief scientist at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, will examine the complex sustainable development issue of increasing food production while meeting environmental challenges.
Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on science and technology in agriculture, will explore the role science and technology will need to play in helping farmers meet global demand for food.
Other keynote speakers will include NFU president Peter Kendall.
Philipp Lukas, managing director of Future Biogas, will explain how feed stocks for anaerobic digestion can help diversify farm income streams helping to limit market exposure and operating risk.
A short film will show how George Gittus, who farm near Bury St Edmunds, has embraced renewable energy generation with an anaerobic digestion plant fed with maize grown on site alongside his arable and livestock enterprises.
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Clarke Willis, chief executive of organisers Anglia Farmers, said energy crops could herald a significant shift in land use. “When volatility in the agricultural sector is at an all time high, farmers must look at ways to diversify.”