Novel systems


Re-thinking farming systems: which novel systems will deliver?

Workshop leader: Mike Garratt

With increased demand on UK agricultural systems and unpredictable social, economic and environmental challenges ahead, there is a need to maintain or increase agricultural output while improving sustainability and resilience.  There are many novel (and not so novel!) farming systems and farming practices under development or employed worldwide that are not currently being utilised in UK agriculture.  In vitro meat production, agro-forestry, vertical farming, robotic farming, conservation grade farming, algaculture and many more, have multiple potential benefits, yet many remain marginal or unused in UK agriculture.  If the UK is to meet the future demands which will be put on food production and land-use then the farming system tool box needs to be well stocked with realistic, effective and robust farming options.  This workshop will involve facilitated discussions to identify potentially underutilised novel agricultural systems; begin to understand how they could benefit UK agriculture and what the current barriers to their take up are.

The overall outcomes of the workshop are twofold:

1. To identify a suite of Novel Farming Systems and then rank them with regards to:

a. Potential benefit to UK agriculture

b. How practical and appropriate they will be to implement or expand in the UK

2. For each novel system establish some key information including:

a. Economic and ecological, feasibility benefits of the novel system (Pros)

b. Economic and ecological, practical limitations of the novel system (Cons)

c. Knowledge gaps to address some of the unknowns with regards to the novel system


  • Facilitated discussion on Novel Farming Systems
  • Group work
  • 25 attendees
  • 90 minutes

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