Langton Grove Farm: Environmental, Social and Economic issues associated with rural change

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  • Langton Grove Farm, Suffolk: Environmental issues associated with rural change
    • Background
      • 223 hectare farm near Eye
    • Grows sugar beet, winter wheat, winter barley and oilseed rape
      • Yields are 10-20% above national average
        • Good growing conditions
          • Good land quality
          • Climatic conditions are ideal for temparate arable crops
            • Warm summers, long growing season and mean annual rainfall around 600mm a year
    • Set-aside
      • 8% of arable area is set-aside (16 ha)
        • 3/4 is planted with oilseed rape - possible because oilseed is used to make biodiesel fuel, not food production.
        • 4 ha are left fallow
        • Set-aside attracts an area payment of £175 per hectare
    • CAP
      • Limits on pesticide usage and spraying around the margins of fields
      • Hedgerows must not be cut between 1st March and 31st July
        • Protects nesting birds and other wildlife
      • Must leave a 2m wide grass margin for wildlife around every field
    • ES scheme
      • Worth £30 per hectare
      • Must leave field corners uncultivated
      • Must leave 6m buffer strips around fields with streams and ditches
        • Must sow wild bird seen onto the strips
      • Clear ditches out only occasionally
    • Diversification
      • Opened the first childres' nursery in Eye in one of the outbuildings in 2006
        • Immediately successful so new buildings were added
          • Outdoor swimming pool
          • Pets' corner
        • Attracted funding from EU's Objective 5b programme which between 1994 and 1999 assisted economic development in areas like East Suffolk
          • These areas were heavily dependant on declining employment sectors such as agriculture
        • Rural development grant from DEFRA

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