The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Find Defra funded R&D projects at http://randd.defra.gov.uk/

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Farm-PEP aims to bring together all the sources of useful knowledge for Agriculture, whether from academic science, applied research projects, industry trials, farmers own trials or simple on-farm experience. Listed below are useful websites, organisations and websites that we know of.  Add any we've missed in the comments box or by adding as new content, or better still, as a new Group.  

Tell us how you are improving your soils. Share useful resources, organisations and initiatives.

Agricultural research is conducted by a range of organisations, from individual farmers, through advisors, distributors, manufacturers, charities, societies, supply chain companies, levy bodies, universities and research institutes.  This page aims to connect across these often disparate sources.

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. 

We create diverse connections to drive positive change.

The Farming Innovation Programme is part of Defra’s investment in innovation, research and development. Defra is partnering with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on the programme. 

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DEFRA funding in partnership with Innovate UK, which is looking to support farmers, growers, and foresters who have a bold, ambitious idea. 

In 2021 Defra commissioned an ADAS led consortium to look at the environmental and productivity benefits of mob grazing systems in the UK. 

What is ELMs? The three-tier Environmental Land Management (ELM

Funding available for research and knowledge exchange in the UK comes from a mix of public, industry and charitable sources

YEN Zero is a recently established network in the ADAS YEN Family, with the overarching aim of creating a net-zero community. It aims to bring key players from across the agricultural industry together to meet the industry’s target of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

Lots of information becoming available on Net Zero, with lots of activity across the industry

In February 2018, ADAS, AHDB and Defra launched the Grass and herbal leys farm network. The network is a partnership between farmers, researchers and industry and provides a platform to investigate the long term impacts of leys in rotations, such as: Quantifying changes in soil organic matter and soil health from introducing temporary grass/herbal leys across a range of soil types and rainfall areas. Quantifying subsequent changes to soil organic matter and soil health following the destruction of the temporary grass/herbal leys and return to arable production. Investigating the effectiveness of grass/herbal leys in controlling blackgrass in ‘problem’ fields.

A new Defra forum which will bring together stakeholders to identify and improve collaborative working on shared issues facing the agricultural sector.

How do you conduct and manage robust research and development at scale on your farm? What are the best methods for data collection and analysis? What are the best approaches to collaborative projects with researchers? Join us on April 28th as we explore the scientific approaches to on-farm trials and how to work more effectively with researchers.

Help us collate the knowledge sources, organisations and initiatives out there that are seeking to improve the farmed environment

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Interesting discussions on policy, farming and environment with Defra's Future Farming & Countryside Programme Director Janet Hughes

Get involved in the co-design of new policies and keep up to date with Defra's Future Farming & Countryside programme.

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PLANET and MANNER-NPK are nutrient management software tools that are freely available for use by farmers and their advisers. PLANET (Planning Land Applications of Nutrients for Efficiency and the environmenT) is a nutrient management decision support tool for use by farmers and advisers in England/Wales and Scotland for field level nutrient planning and for assessing and demonstrating compliance with the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules. MANNER-NPK is a practical software tool that provides farmers and advisers with a quick estimate of crop available nitrogen, phosphate and potash supply from applications of organic manure. MANNER-NPK is applicable in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Calculation Engine being developed ADAS for AHDB to give UK GHG Inventory compliant approach to calculating GHG emissions. This will connect to other tools via API. 

Defra produces useful statistics annually on the structure of the industry, which you can find at

Defra's policy document from 2018

Farming Futures R&D Fund – Theme 1 (Expression of Interest) This