Barton Farms' story
The LEADER project provided Barton Farms with access to grant funding to invest in their business for long term growth and prosperity, due their rural location. When organisations/business apply for funding they must demonstrate their commitment to delivering the business case through matching the grant with self allocated funding.
Barton Farms set the following project aim for their grant investment:
"To reduce cultivations and further enhance an ongoing change into controlled traffic farming practises. The primary aims are to improve farm efficiency, whist reducing co2 emissions, and enhancing the soil biota. Reduced cultivation will stabilise soils reducing water erosion through run off and leaching."
The project improved the efficiency and profitiability of farming due to a reduced number of runs needed to be made and improved plant rooting as a direct result of the direct/strip tillage drilling along with controlled traffic farming. The plants have been able to root much more successfully than before due to reduced cultivations and less compacted soil, thus improving nutrient uptake and reduced leaching.
The farm has successfully adopted a 12 meter controlled traffic system to confine all traffic to 17% of the farmed area to reduce compaction. This reduced cost per hectare, and moves away from heavy tillage to controlled traffic and then to controlled traffic with strip tip drilling.
The improvement in soil biota as a result of the limited compaction and less deep cultivation has improved water filtration on the farm, meaning less water-logging and reduced water pollution through leaching and soil-surface run off. Given the reduced number of runs being completed and having a controlled traffic system, pollution from fuel usage has also been reduced significantly. Fuel usage has reduced by 43% compared with max-till practices.
Useful learnings from Barton Farms
Make sure you liaise with local businesses and groups to understand new initiatives and opportunities to help develop and achieve your core aims.
Engage with your local council who will be able to advise on funding opportunities to help you invest in your business to support long term growth and prosperity whilst also enabling improved farm efficiency, reducing co2 emissions and enhancing the soil biota.
Barton Farms' metrics
1. Reduced fuel consumption
2. Increased soil biota (Earthworms etc)
3. Reduced soil compaction
4. Improved efficiency & profitability
5. better harvests & plant nutrition