Nafferton farm lies in the Tyne Valley, in Northumberland, between Newcastle upon Tyne and Hexham. It has been managed as 2 separate units of 150 ha comparing conventional and organic farming since 2005, covering both arable and dairy production. In addition, the farm hosts various plot scale studies on aspects of crop production (e.g. 2 Factorial Systems Comparison trial; ADAS soil compaction plots) and controlled studies relating to dairy cow health and nutrition. Farm scale surveys of insects and birds population have been carried out, as well as interventions to intercept nutrient runoff and improve water quality.
As part of SIP, Nafferton is monitoring the impact of a range of waste material (green waste compost, residues from bio-gas production, cattle slurry and composted manure) and mineral fertiliser on crop growth, health and grain quality in spelt (a primitive wheat) and rye. We are also considering the impact of a range of dairy diets on the vitamin and antioxidant content of milk - adding to previous data collected to assess if feeding oilseed rape and/or oats to cows produces milk fat or butter that is better for our health.
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