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Relu Newsletter - April 2014

The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme April 2014 Newsletter includes all the latest news and updates on Relu and LWEC research projects, events, staff and publications.


Real impact of reducing farm regulation still to come
Progress is being made on reducing regulation but there is still a long way to go, according to the Farming Regulation Task Force Implementation Group. In their recent report they praise the large amount of detailed work already done. However, they also note that much of this has been concerned with laying foundations for future action and that the impact is still to be felt on farms. A synthesis of the report prepared by the RuSource rural information network is available via OpenFields.


Symposium on low input strategies for integrated livestock breeding and management
Newcastle University are hosting a symposium on the 15th and 16th April 2014 presenting the findings from a 5-year EU funded project to develop integrated livestock breeding and management strategies to improve animal health, product quality and performance in organic and low input milk, meat and egg production. At this final symposium, project results covering four species will be presented as well as ethical, environmental and economic implications of the results. To register for this event, please contact Teresa Jordon at teresa.jordon@newcastle.ac.uk


Soil Association to fund innovative farmer-led research
The Soil Association has announced funding for three innovative new research projects to support sustainable agriculture. The research topics were suggested by farmers, working alongside scientists. The projects tackle three key challenges for organic and low-input agriculture: managing weeds without herbicides; finding affordable protein feed for poultry, pig and fish farming; and growing even healthier food. The three projects, which have been devised to address important issues facing farmers practically and innovatively, have been awarded almost £50,000 between them, as part of the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme.


Linking the laboratory and the farm
How can we get farmers and scientists talking and make knowledge exchange work for both? In the latest landbridge blog, Professor Dianna Bowles explains about the recently launched Farmer Scientist Network of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which aims to provide a new opportunity for farmers and scientists to meet and discuss emerging problems and identify solutions together.


Taking stock of the links between research and the land professions

Are scientists providing land advisers with useful information that they need to do their jobs? And do front line professionals have sufficient opportunities to contribute their expertise to the process of research? This one day interactive workshop hosted by landbridge on May 1st 2014 will take a clear look at the links between research and the land professions and how they might be improved. With contributions from leading practitioners and researchers, the workshop will explore models and strategies for bringing research and professional practice together, what gets in the way of fruitful knowledge exchange, and how barriers could be broken down. The event will be of interest to land professionals and their associations, research funders and research programme representatives, university and research institute knowledge exchange staff and representatives of the agricultural and ancillary industries. See provisional programme for further information.To book your place, contact Amy Proctor on amy.proctor@ncl.ac.uk by 21st March.



"The more knowledge you share, the more you will benefit in return"

Mike Butcher, Agronomist and Landbridge member