Biodiversity at Rawcliffe Bridge and The Grange
The demand for food is constantly increasing and that demand is driven by a public that expects farmers to deliver their crops - the raw materials for food production - in an arena policed by a balance of economic, and socialogically defined forces. At the same time the public wants its farmers to deliver a landscape that nurtures birds, bees, buterflies and biodiversity.
Sustainable intensification requires a balance of good management techniques to produce economically viable crops and maintain a healthy environment on the farm; both are critical components of the challenge of responsible food production.
Since 2002, our inspirational partnership with the farming family at Rawcliffe Bridge has implemented a balance of practical wildlife enhancing measures that encourage biodiversity alongside highly productive, well-managed arable crops.
The Rawcliffe Bridge partnership & biodiversity insights have been so valuable, BASF extended this approach to a second family farm at The Grange, near Kettering.
The objective of Rawcliffe Bridge and The Grange is to show what can be done to deliver a balanced approach to sustainable farming - high quality crops alongside high biodiveristy by using the skills and technology common in crop production. This approach is delivered by farming that provides a landscape to deliver both biodiversity and breadmaking wheat.
These inspiring farms have attracted many visitors to experience our clear messages for whole farm approach to sustainable intensification.
The biodiversity initiatives our partnership on the farms show what farmers can achieve. Effectively managed crop production and improved biodiversity are a powerful and socially responsible combination; they are both key drivers in managing sustainable intensification of farming.
Improving biodiversity is just part of the solution to deliver sustainable intensification of crops at Rawcliffe Bridge and The Grange. Best practice agronomy using current technology and techniques drives profitable crop production and the same technology and techniques can be used to improve biodiversity.
The vital ingredient for success is the extensive data set built up at Rawcliffe Bridge since 2002-2003. Rawcliffe Bridge is unique and unrivalled within the crop protection business and is a leader in the industry by example.
The Path Forward
Our focus has been on enhancing the wildlife features on the farms using simple, successful techniques and communicating this knowledge to all stakeholders. We will continue to work with farmers to provide habitats created using “biodiversity by design” to deliver food supplies for birds and insects alongside well-managed crops grown for the food value chain.
We will continue to show that best practice agronomy and best practice biodiversity can co-exist and thrive by working hand in hand to share technologies and production techniques. Sustainable intensification and biodiversity are both key components of a sustainable Food Value Chain.