A once ‘paid for’ farming research network has now become a free service.
Innovative Farmers Network, launched in 2015, is a group of farmers and agricultural organisations conducting a range of agricultural experiments.
Members get access to lab experiments and results of field tests. Members also had the opportunity to add their farm to experiments and help with the tests.
Previously, the network was fee-based (£250 per year), and members had to help cover some the costs of the experiments. However, this has now changed and you can join for free.
Included in your free membership is the access to test results and the opportunity to become involved with the field tests.
The research is conducted is using a more farmer-led approach. Meaning, experiments are carried out on actual working farms.
Tests may be conducted by several farms in different areas. Therefore, improving the quality of results and making them more useful to a wider range of farms.
So far, some of the topics being researched are:
Here are some examples of the experiments and tests being conducted at present:
- Improving Health And Wellbeing Of Hens
- Improving Our Soils
- Managing Rushes In Grassland
There are many more experiments happening. And I expect the network to research a wider range of topics as it grows.
Currently, the network stands at an impressive 700+ farmers plus many agricultural organisations. The Innovative Farmers Network has covered 35 topics so far.
The feedback from farming members has been positive. Ninety percent of members, when surveyed, said they had learnt something.
Why Not Join – It Cost Nothing
Even if you don’t want to become involved in any experiments it’s still worth joining. As registering with the site will allow you to access test results and data for free.
To my knowledge, the network isn’t selling anything. And, personally, I’m more libel to trust information from a farmer-led network than a commercial magazine. Sometimes I find that farming magazines advice can appear to be biased towards some of their advertiser’s products and methods.
The true method of knowledge is experiment – William Blake