An open day to be held at Foel y Cathau, Llangernyw, Conwy on 22 September 2010 will give farmers a chance to find out all about slurry: its storage, nutrient value and application.
Arwyn and Carol Evans farm their 60 suckler cattle and 450 ewes at Foel y Cathau in the hills above Llangernyw. They finished a standard organic conversion in May 2010, and are managing the stock to organic standards. The event is being organised by Organic Centre Wales as part of the Farming Connect Organic Development Programme and is suitable for all livestock farmers, organic or conventional.
The farm has a mix of hill, mountain, and some lowland land, which is a good mix for an organic system, but can present a few challenges. Arwyn commented: “The main challenge that I am facing is the lack of conserved forage for the winter months - we are faced with a seven month winter here! I am hoping I will be able to work out a system that will make me self sufficient, utilising the slurry and farmyard manure that is produced on the farm.”
Gary Owen from ADAS will be looking at the infrastructure at Foel y Cathau in relation to waste handling and management, identifying the business requirements in the future and advising on the best way of meeting those needs.
Also present will be Nichola Taylor of the Environment Agency, who will give a talk on the benefits of soil testing and spreading manures wisely in relation to soil requirements. She will be using examples from the Catchment Initiative work on silage and grazing fields the EA have undertaken in the area. Farmers in the Vale of Clwyd and in the catchment of the Elwy can receive free soil testing on three fields as a taster for the benefits, and can sign up for this service on the day.
Heather McCalman of the Grassland Development Centre will be on hand all day to advise on grassland issues and making the most of slurry. There will also be a demonstration of slurry application machinery.
The event will run from 11am until 2pm on Wednesday 22 September and a light lunch will be provided. The event is free, but please book your place with Mari Jones on 07791 442 498. You will also be able to register for Farming Connect services on the day.
Mari Jones, Organic Centre Wales 07791 442498 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organic Centre Wales, 01970 622248.
Notes for editors
1. Organic Centre Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to provide information on organic food and farming to producers, food businesses, consumers and others. It is based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University.
2. The Organic Conversion Information Service (01970 622100) is funded by WAG to provide information to producers considering conversion – an information pack and up to three free on-farm visits are available.
3. For information on when the Organic Farming Scheme is likely to be open next, contact the organic helpline on 01970 622100.
4. Farming Connect, working closely with its partner organisations, provides one to one support, knowledge, expertise, training and advisory services tailored to the needs of farmers in Wales. Many of these services are fully funded or subsidised and the service is both flexible and accessible. You can register with the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813 or contact Farming Connect directly at your nearest WAG Divisional Office. OCW is funded by Farming Connect to deliver the Organic Development Programme.