Working to increase crop, animal and human diversity while reducing artificial inputs of fertilisers and pesticides is the way forward for farming, Ian Wilkinson told Adam Henson on this week’s episode of ‘BBC Countryfile’.
Adam talked about how profits for arable farmers are increasingly ‘hard to come by’ with the banning of neonicotinoids and changes to subsidy farm payments, so he visited FarmED to discuss ‘different ways to make profit’ and find out what the farming of tomorrow might look like.
Adam was keen to find out about ELMS, the new Environmental Land Management Scheme. He asked Ian to explain what it means for farmers and the rest of us, who rely on farming to provide our food.
Ian showed Adam round FarmED as he explained how ELMS will incentivise a ‘suite of options’ promoting soil management and biodiversity. Hedgerow management, tree planting, natural flood management and agroforestry can all help to combat climate change, while also encouraging sustainable food production. Ian demonstrated the use of deep-rooting herbal leys to build soil fertility and lock in carbon, enabling him to grow a diverse crop of population wheat, with zero inputs.
Adam praised the way that ‘Ian is working with nature to get results at a fraction of the cos’ with no pesticides or fertilizers and concluded by saying how we need to ‘change the way we think about land use.’