AN influential audience of farmers, scientists, agricultural experts and policy-makers attended the recent launch of farming resource, Agricology, at Daylesford Organic Farm, near Kingham.

The new online resource translates scientific research into practical advice to help farmers become more profitable, resilient and more sustainable, while protecting the environment.

It has been founded by three independent charitable organisations: the Daylesford Foundation which has pledged almost £500,000 to the project over the next five years, the Organic Research Centre, the UK’s leading independent research centre for the development of organic and agroecological food production and land management solutions, and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Allerton Project.

Trustee and founder of the Daylesford founder, Carole Banford, said: "“I have always been passionate about sustainable agriculture. There is a great deal of good and diverse information available on this important area and we wanted to bring this all together in an accessible format for farmers and landowners. By sharing knowledge on organic and other ecological farming techniques, I believe we can work together for the benefit of the soil, the pollinators and the wider natural environment."

Agricology is guided by a steering group of leading figures from the worlds of agriculture and horticulture. Together, they represent a diverse range of farming principles including organic, integrated conventional, biodynamic, agroforestry and permaculture. Topics covered by Agricology’s resources include improving soil structure, quality and health; encouraging biodiversity, notably pollinators and other beneficial insects; utilising grassland and home grown feeds for livestock and minimising pressures of pests, diseases and weeds.

It also features inspirational farmer and grower profiles, which are designed to stimulate farmer-led innovation and help spread the word.

Richard Smith, senior farms manager at Daylesford and chairman of the Agricology Steering Group added: “Each farm has its own environment, yet often advice is too generic or can be driven by a particular agenda. By following Agricology, a farmer has access to the best available information, which may be the latest agri-tech advancement or a traditional skill. Most importantly, it is honest, practical and user-friendly”.

Dr Alastair Leake, head of the GWCT’s Allerton Project, said: “Making agriculture more sustainable is challenging. We are collating useful information found in scientific journals and making it understandable, practical and available, then demonstrating their use with experts ‘in the field’.”

Guest speaker at the launch was Sonia Phippard, Director General of Policy at Defra.