Crop Diversity


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Dynamic female strawberry grower proves sustainability and quality can go hand in hand when it comes to fruit production.

Dynamic female strawberry grower proves sustainability and quality can go hand in hand when it comes to fruit production.

With increasing pressure from consumers for low environmental impact, premium quality fresh ingredients, Yorkshire Strawberry grower, Annabel Makin - Jones, has been striving to produce sustainable yet excellent quality fruit for the British market from her family farm. Over the past 15 years she has been refining the process to ensure the carbon footprint of the strawberries is as low as possible whilst still providing the best possible berries. Her new ecofriendly brand is not only sold in 100% biodegradeable packaging but the Princes Trust benefit from the sale of every punnet.

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room using vertical farming with pink lights

Netled Oy, Finnish specialists in vertical farming systems and greenhouse lighting solutions, have signed a long-term framework agreement with Astwood Infrastructure to supply equipment for industrial-scale vertical farms. Read what this means for vertical farming here. 

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crops grown in vertical farming

Vertical farming; agriculture’s latest innovative solution to helping producers provide crops regardless of land reduction and stock demand. Here you can read how vertical farming can be used in farm diversification for the production of beer.

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crops were affected by the 2018 heatwave – a field and pond with crack earth showing

As the spring rain continues to fall, many of us might be missing the glorious sunshine of the UK summer heatwave. May businesses also enjoyed a boost from the weather, with retailers witnessing the largest revenue rise in four years, with a 4% rise compared to June 2017.

But for some, the heatwave was a nightmare for their livelihoods — farmers struggled with everything from burnt fields under the scorching sun to droughts putting livestock at risk.

Just how far did the damage spread, and how long will the effects last?

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Miscanthus diversification success for Suffolk farmer
Suffolk arable farmer, Nigel Fellingham, is harvesting his Miscanthus for the first time this spring. The crop is reaching the end of its second growth season and is proving to be a fruitful investment. 

He will be opening his farm on 30th April to show other growers how his farm business has benefitted from the crop in an event co-hosted with Miscanthus expert Terravesta.

His Miscanthus crop is destined for the £173m Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant in Norfolk, which generates 44MWh of electricity – enough to supply 82,000 homes and save over 300,000 tons of CO2 every year, through the burning of biomass, including  Miscanthus.

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Diversification Infographic

Farm diversification isn’t a new trend; resilience and adaptability have always been essential for farming businesses to survive and thrive. Over 60% of UK farms have diversified, according to Defra’s Farm Business Survey 2016/17.

NFU Mutual spoke to over 200 farmers from across the UK who have already taken the leap and already diversified from farming, or are considering their future business direction, to find out how and why.