CropTec panel explores Natural Capital opportunities on farm
The ‘Maximising natural capital opportunities’ seminar, sponsored by Agreena, aims to help farmers understand how they can make the most of this new opportunity. From carbon to water, the expert panel will take a hard look at the drivers influencing the supply chain and identify opportunities for financial gain.
Session chair and Director of ADAS Policy and Economics Dr Liz Lewis-Reddy hopes the discussion will start to shift mindsets over environmental markets. “My goal for this session is to break down some barriers and help others overcome their resistance to environmental markets and natural capital, and instead see them as an opportunity for the long-term viability of the agricultural sector,” she says.
Shropshire farmer Michael Kavanagh will share his eight-year journey converting his farm to a more regenerative system and the resulting benefits to soil health and biodiversity. This led to him joining up with other like-minded farmers to form The Green Farm Collective to monetise their gains.
“With the loss of subsidy payments going forward I believe that trading natural capital has potential to plug a hole in farm balance sheets,” he explains. “It’s a real opportunity and farmers should be going out there and grasping it rather than waiting for the Government to come up with something. We’re trading carbon at £100/tonne, and the value another collective member receives for biodiversity dwarfs any current stewardship schemes. The potential value is not insignificant!”
George Cook, Senior Farm Business Consultant at The Andersons Centre, will discuss the variety of ways that natural capital can be monetised. “The best place to start for any farmer interested in monetising natural capital is to look into the many schemes that exist already, such as the mid-tier stewardship scheme,” he says. “Some water companies will also provide funding for activities that help improve water quality and minimise erosion such as cover cropping.
“But each farm is different so it’s crucial to understand the concepts behind any policy that a farmer chooses to apply to their farm. Consideration of the system as a whole is key to success whether you’re focused on building wild bird populations or soil quality.”
Nigel Davies, Director of Maltdoctor Ltd, will conclude the session by exploring the challenge behind the carbon footprint of producing food and the impact that engaged farmers can have by improving soil health and sequestering carbon.
“Every farm has natural capital and is generating environmental goods and services, so this session is not necessarily about fundamental change,” concludes Dr Liz Lewis-Reddy. “It’s about revealing the existing value on farm, maximising its production potential and turning it into something that works for farming businesses.”
In its 10th anniversary edition, The CropTec Show seminar programme theme of ‘Farming in a changing climate: Controlling costs and cultivating resilience’ is sure to resonate with visitors. Bringing together practical know-how and scientific research the sessions will help growers future-proof their businesses in the following areas:
- Coping with change: Costs, environmental regulation & cultivating resilience
- Trusting data: How tech adoption could be key to controlling fertiliser costs
- Maximising natural capital revenue opportunities
- Strategies for disease control in a changing climate: Where next?
The CropTec Show will be held at the East of England Showground in Peterborough from 23-24 November 2022. Free ticket registration and additional details about the 2022 seminar programme can be found at www.croptecshow.com.