Innovative Farmers was established in 2012 by the Soil Association with the aim of bringing scientific rigour to on-farm trials co-designed by farmers and researchers. With a focus on sustainability and resilience groups come together on discrete topics and trials range from six months in duration.

 

Primarily funded by The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund the network has a grants programme to cover up to £10k of the trial costs and organises a programme of events and knowledge exchange activities over the year. To join the network or share an idea for a field lab contact the team or follow us on twitter @IFarmers

Related Organisations

Connected Content

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects.

Share your views on how we can improve Farmpep.net

The Farmer-Led Innovation Network (FLIN) are UK based organisations driving farmer-led innovation - working together to power up and increase the impact of farmer led innovation initiatives.

Farm-centric research generally involves On-Farm Experimentation and may be better described as 'Farm Action Research', i.e. research conducted at least in part by and for beneficiaries who also farm. 

Inferring the right conclusions from field trials is important - how confident can you be that a result is 'real' rather than due to the underlying noise? As part of the Farm-PEP FIP project we are working with BGS to explore the best ways to communicate confidence, uncertainty, significance, probability and value with farmers and growers.

An Innovative Farmers Field Lab with four sheepers farmers working with ADAS has shown that long-held fears of red clover in herbal leys affecting fertility in sheep are unfounded, with the findings that inclusion of the legume can even have a positive effect on pregnancy rates.

Scientific paper looking at the relationships between scientists and farmers:

The initial Farm-PEP project funded under the Innovate UK competition 'UKRI Ideas to address Covid-19'.  ADAS led  consortium to assess the impact of Covid-19 on knowledge exchange in agriculture, and to develop the Farm-PEP web solution at www.farmpep.net. The initial Farm-PEP project began in January 2021 and runs to February 2022.

The ideas behind Farm-PEP came together in ~2018, drawing from the developments of Agronomics, the YENs, AHDB's Monitor Farm programme and the idea of a 'What Works' Centre for Agriculture. 

The development of Farm-PEP Performance Enhancement Partnerships to support on-farm knowledge generation through shared ideas, data and experimentation. Funded as part of Farming Innovation Pathways programme from Defra and Innovate UK Transforming Food Production.

Pasture Optimisation for Resilience and Livelihoods (PASTORAL) will work with farmers to co-design a new digital platform to help improve data to inform on-farm decision making to increase farm productivity and carbon efficiency using satellite data to plan pasture management.    

Many of the most telling innovations that make a difference on-farm come from farmers themselves, or from close collaboration between farmers, advisors, industry and researchers

This Innovative Farmers Field Lab investigated defoliation as a control for cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) larval populations in oilseed rape. It worked with eight farmers to look at the potential for controlling cabbage stem flea beetle by mowing and grazing OSR crops

Devon silvopasture 12-year on-farm trial including site at Rothamsted's North Wyke

How should we ensure the long term growth and development of the PEP platform and community?  Give us your ideas here

This field lab was initiated as part of the ADAS project ‘Investigating the distribution and presence, and potential for herbicide resistance of UK brome species in arable farming’, funded by AHDB.  

  Join with members of the Innovative Farmers network past and present for an insp

Farmer Innovation Group as part of YEN Yield Testing project on achieving Deeper Rooting. Encouragement of deep burrowing earthworms might enhance yields by enabling deeper rooting, and capture of more sub-soil water.

Network of farmers advisors and researchers working together, sharing ideas and data and testing solutions to increase soil carbon

This Field Lab explores the impact of grazing sheep on over-winter cover crops on soil properties, crop performance and the management of livestock within an arable rotation.

Group coming out of the YEN looking at ways to increase deep rooting, by encouraging deep burrowing earthworms.

This field lab's objective is to investigate the potential of living mulches, creating a permanent clover understory to suppress weeds, cycle nutrients, protect and enhance soil health, as a means to achieving organic and low-input no-till systems - that can be more sustainable than those systems they seek to replace.

Innovation for Agriculture (IfA) is an independent knowledge exchange charity that aims to bridge the gap between science and practice. 

A group of farmers is investigating with Harper Adams University how trap crops such as sticky and African nightshade can be used as a biological management practice.

A trial site in Suffolk investigated a range of management techniques, including time of sowing f