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The FFC Bulletin – Homepage

Practical information for improving farmers’ and growers’ lives and businesses.

The FFC Bulletin is a free, quarterly, extension newsletter for farmers and growers. It aims to providing concise, easy-to-read extension information that can help reduce costs, increase profits, make the job easier and/or improve environmental sustainability.  It also provides links to a wide range of other information around agroecology / sustainable agriculture and horticulture, particually topical issues.

All issues and articles are listed on this home page so if you are looking / searching for an article this is the place!

A diverse range of information can also be found on the private website of the Dr Charles Merfield – head of the Future Farming Centre.

Subscription information. Disclaimer, copyright and licensing

2023 V3 July

An introduction to the principles of service (cover) crops and intercropping.  This issues main extension report from the FFC.

UK Diverse Forage Project wrap up videos and information

EU-FarmBook – all EU agricultural research information in one place!

Farming with soil life: A handbook for supporting soil invertebrates and soil health on farms

2023 V2 April

DIY soil health tests – FFC report on do it yourself (DIY) soil health tests for farmers, growers and gardeners.

A range of new weed management articles and resources

Getting your head around soil carbon storage

Getting your head around the role of livestock and alternatives in diets and farming

BIOFRUITNET – Boosting Innovation in ORGANIC FRUIT production through stronger networks

MIXED – Multi-actor and transdisciplinary development of efficient and resilient MIXED farming and agroforestry systems 

Agroecology & digitalisation: Traps and opportunities to transform the food system

Growing Tagasaste / tree lucerene (Cytisus proliferus) in New Zealand

2023 V1 January

Welcome back!

What is agroecology?

The global transition to agroecology – the examples of the FAO and EU

Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua — Our Land and Water Regenerative Agriculture reports

Quorum Sense – Aotearoa-New Zealand’s Regenerative Agriculture farmers’ network

Integrated weed management for herbicide resistance in arable cropping systems

Redefining weeds for a post herbicide era

‘A Lighter Touch’ agroecology projects

Our phosphorus future – towards global phosphorus sustainability


No issues due to the FFC being ‘paused’ due to lack of funding

2019 V4 October

Vineyard floor management: A sustainability nexus with a focus on undervine weeding. Report number 04-2019

Testing the compatibility of mesh crop covers with desiccant sprays in seed potato production. Report number 06-2018

An analysis and overview of Regenerative Agriculture. Report number 2-2019

Soil management for sustainable food production and environmental protection

The Agroforestry Handbook

2019 V3 July – No issue

2019 V2 April – No issue

2019 V1 January – No issue

2018 V4 October

IPCC special report on impacts of global warming of 1.5°C

CIDSE report: “The Climate Urgency: Setting Sail for a New Paradigm”

Grazed and confused

Final outputs from SOLMACC

Silvoarable agroforestry in the UK

Updating the GREATsoils project

DIVERSify: Designing InnoVative plant teams for Ecosystem Resilience and agricultural Sustainability

2018 V3 July

Non-chemical management of docks (Rumex)

Culinary oils as herbicides

The Jena Experiment and The ReMIX Project – the benefits of multi-species mixtures

“Holy hay” – Sainfoin growers guide

Trees for bees NZ – smart planting for healthy bees

Overwinter legume cover crops reduce nitrate leaching

2018 V2 April

Mini-ridgers: Lethal burial depth for controlling intrarow weeds

Electrothermal weeding update

The use of UV-A light insect traps for TPP control and monitoring in glasshouses

The effect of organically derived fertilisers on early growth of Pinot noir cuttings under glasshouse conditions

New agroforestry resources

OK-Net Arable

Intrarow weeder videos.

The FFC on Rural Delivery

2018 V1 January

FFC research into mesh crop covers for potato blight and pest control. – Third year of trials – Effect of UV light on foliar potato blight and psyllid yellows.

Crop Rotations – A Planning Manual from SARE

2017 V4 October – No issue

2017 V3 July

Mesh crop covers for non-chemical potato pest & disease control: Final results from the 2016-17 Field trial of mesh vs. agrichemicals

ReMix – Redesigning European cropping systems based on species mixtures

2017 V2 April – no issue

2017 V1 January

The State of Food and Agriculture Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security – FAO

Obsalim® livestock health cards

Soil Health – Growing Resilient Efficient And Thriving (GREAT) Soils

FAO Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Sprouted seeds for chickens and tractor tyre app

2016 V4 October – no issue

2016 V3 July

Report on Indigenous Agroecology by FFC scientist Dr Marion Johnson

iPES FOOD – calling for a paradigm shift in agriculture

Two important soil publications

OSCAR – Optimising Subsidiary Crop Application in Rotations – Final outputs

BioGreenhouse – sustainability and productivity of protected cropping systems

2016 v2 April

New pollination opportunities using lucerne leafcutting bees

2016 V1 January

Understanding biostimulants, biofertilisers and on-farm trials

Back to the future – electrothermal, systemic, weedkiller

New sustainable and ecological extension and information website launched

2015 V4 October

False and stalesSeedbeds: The most effective non-chemical weed management tools for cropping and pasture establishment

2015 V3 July – No issue

2015 V2 April – no issue

2015 V1 January

The fundamentals of soil nutrient management, soil testing and fertiliser recommendations

Miscanthus – a new tool for NZ ag and hort?

Comment: Agricultural paradigm shifts, climate smart farming and agro-ecology

2014 V4 October

The final frontier: Non-chemical, intrarow, weed control for annual crops with a focus on mini-ridgers

Tanalised post alternatives used in the national grape cultivar library-vineyard at the BHU

Spring has sprung and hopefully so have more white-tipped Californian thistles!

OSCAR: A new cover crop and living mulch wiki (info source) from the European Union plus other cover crop resources

World Soil Day

2014 V3 July – no issue

2014 V2 May

Hedging Bets: Legume Mixtures in Pasture

Crushing Californian thistles to death and other on-farm, non-chemical control techniques

Fire-resistant shelter belts

‘Can healthy soil feed the world?’ Seven scientists give their opinion

Challenges for pest management in New Zealand

2014 V1 January

Good bugs vs. Bad bugs

Combing out weeds – innovation in arable and pasture weeding

The end of cockies cocaine? Biological nitrogen fixation for any crop without genetic engineering

The future of phosphorus

Key points for NZ agriculture from The UNEP 2013 Emissions Gap Report. Win-win for farmers and the climate

White tip disease of thistle: Short update

2013 V2 April

Better than herbicides? – FFC research

Drought-Proof Pastures

Farming the third dimension

White tipped Californian thistles: Be on the Lookout!

UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate

2013 V1 January

Make Soil Organisms Work for You: Mythbusting practices that do and don’t work.

100% non-chemical control of Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) in field crops – FFC research

“Sort and Treat” parasite control for lambs

The grape and post collection at the BHU

FFC news

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