How can farming and food production be made more sustainable?
Green Horizons is our commitment to a sustainable future for food production.
You can download the Green Horizons document here.
In the short video below (6:48mins), members of the Agrii Board provide an introduction and overview of Green Horizons and the range of projects involved – from soils to BioSolutions, and from enhanced efficiency fertilisers to stakeholder engagement. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to view a series of questions and answers about Green Horizons.
Helping to create a sustainable farming future
Meeting the food production and farming challenges of tomorrow
At the core of Green Horizons is our five-point plan to help prepare for, and meet, the challenges of tomorrow while ensuring that agriculture remains sustainable and profitable.
The five-point plan covers the action we are taking in each of the following areas:
An Insight Report that pulls together all of the projects, research and ongoing work that Agrii is involved in, within each area will be produced for each of the five points of the plan, over the course of the next year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has always been the cornerstone of Agrii’s approach to sustainable farming systems. What Green Horizons will do is provide a 5-point framework of commitments to ensure key challenges such as improvements in soil health, enhanced environmental training and mitigating the effects of climate change are fully embraced within our agronomic approach.
Over the years Agrii has been involved with many research projects on healthy soils. These include;
- Detailed examination of the benefits and positioning of cover crops;
- Research into appropriate cultivations for specific crop & field situations;
- Working with the Centre of Ecology & Hydrology on determining what is meant by a healthy soil and how cropping and cultivation types can influence the balance;
- Research into the benefits of composts on soil fauna and crop yield;
- As a founder partner of the Harper Adams Soil & Water Management Centre, annual conferences have been held each year, at which independent soil experts have spoken.
Because of delays to the introduction of ELMS, we do not yet know if, or how, measurements of soil health will be incorporated into targets. In the meantime, we have been working with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to develop a more accurate way of measuring soil health than the Solvita test which we currently offer. After a pilot scheme in 2018/19, in 2019/20 Agrii provided 400 soil samples which are currently being profiled. The outcome of this project is yet to be known, but we hope will provide us with information to put towards a validated soil health measurement tool.
Taking account of varying scenarios is important when giving agricultural and environmental advice. More often than not, a blanket one size fits all approach is not appropriate nor adequate enough. Within Agrii there is a team dedicated to providing internal and external environmental support on areas such as NVZ compliance, water and soil protection, environmental stewardship, biodiversity improvements, habitat creation, policy advice and grant funding. To find your local environmental adviser please speak to your usual Agrii contact, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Agrii’s Net Zero iFarm will be exploring ways to grow a profitable crop using methods with a proven lower carbon footprint. It will put sustainable farming systems into practice, to understand the benefits they have for the environment, and also their effects on yields, agronomic features and gross margins. It will account for not only factors that generate emissions such as fertiliser applications and cultivations, but also on enhancing features that sequester carbon, such as soils and hedgerows. Once developed, this iFarm will help growers better understand how to reduce their carbon footprint, working towards achieving the NFU’s goal of net zero by 2040.
We are actively addressing the question of food waste through different collaborative projects.
Over the last three years, Agrii has been involved in the ‘Agrocycle’
project, which aims to demonstrate how we can influence EU policy to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. By being involved in projects like this, we are actively addressing how we can use agri-food waste to add value to our agricultural systems, creating a more circular economy.
Internally, we are also managing our crops and produce to reduce quality loss, which will ultimately reduce the level of food waste.
You can get involved in Green Horizons just by working with Agrii. Green Horizons will flow through everything we do so whether you get advice from us, attend iFarm events, or buy products from us, you are involved. Although, as the grower, you also have the obligation to ask “Where can I be doing more?” and we can help answer those questions.
As part of our Green Horizons Initiative, we will be launching a farmer network. This will be where like-minded growers with a shared interest in sustainable food production can work collaboratively towards improving the productivity and efficiency of their business. To find out more, please enquire with your local agronomist to receive an information pack and application form (please note that numbers will be limited).
Although we are certain that change is on the horizon, what we cannot determine is how change will happen, and who will be delivering associated advice. However, we see the role of the agronomist and RHIZA account manager being vital to delivering sustainable advice at farm level, supported by experts in various departments including our Consultancy and Environmental Services team.
The end goal with our Green Horizons Initiative is to be able to support farmers through future challenges. By proactively looking at the future of agriculture, we hope to increase resilience across the sector, developing efficient and productive farming businesses. Most importantly, we want to continue to do what we do best at Agrii, making sure all our advice is backed by robust science data, and tailored to each individual farm.
As we learn more about sustainable practices through our Green Horizons Initiative, we hope to deliver training both internally (to our agronomists) and externally (to our customers) on how you can make your businesses more sustainable.
Training will be delivered by our Agrii advisory teams, but will also include talks and practical workshops from industry experts. This journey is something we want to work on jointly with our customers, sharing the best of what we do.