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National Organic Combinable Crops 2018 (NOCC18)

Date: 3 July 2018 Location: TF11 9LF

Booking is now open for the 2018 National Organic Combinable Crops (NOCC) conference, the largest and longest-running organic on-farm event in the UK.

Now in its eleventh year, this one-day event near Telford, Shropshire, will offer organic and non-organic farmers the chance to learn about the latest innovations in the sector, and discover how they might take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Hosted by third-generation mixed farmer Mark Lea – in partnership with the Organic Research Centre (ORC), Walnes Seeds, Organic Arable, Hodmedods and Harper Adams University – visitors will have the chance to learn about the farm and its operations during an in-depth farm walk.

As well as examining extensive crop trials – including winter wheat varieties ORC Wakelyns Population, Basset, Crispin, Evolution, Montana, Siskin and Spyder – visitors will also get a glimpse of the farm’s resident flock of New Zealand Romney sheep, its 80-head herd of pedigree Hereford cattle, and its green waste business, which composts 5000 tonnes of waste every year.

Visitors will also hear from a range of experts, including NIAB’s head of farming systems research, Elizabeth Stockdale, and independent plant and soil educator Joel Williams.

Mark Measures of the Institute of Organic Training and Advice will also be sharing the latest research and practical approaches to improving soil health and biology as he completes a global tour as part of his Churchill scholarship.

The Liveseed project involves each of the growers producing three of seven winter wheat varieties in different combinations to enable comparisons between them. This ‘balanced incomplete block’ puts varieties onto farms to be tested at a commercial scale, where performance is most relevant and can be done at little cost.

This year, the NOCC conference lunch will be prepared by renowned baker Kimberly Bell from the Small Food Bakery. Kimberley and her team will be including many of the key crops demonstrated in the field in their menu.

Host farmer Mark Lea says: “We like to see how we can do things differently and welcoming NOCC to the farm gives us that chance to experiment with new varieties, which is very exciting.

“We first hosted NOCC a few years ago and we found then that it gives us the motivation to experiment, while the chance to talk to other growers and experts about their ideas is incredibly useful,” he adds. “We’re looking forward to opening our gates to visitors again this year.”

Roger Kerr, OF&G chief executive, says: “NOCC has become the highlight in the organic farming calendar and we are very pleased this year to be hosted by Mark on his superb organic family farm.

“We are gathering together some of the best and most experienced professionals in food and farming to help our delegates look in detail at the things that matter most to them: the soil, the seeds, agronomic practices and how these impact on the final food products we are all dependent upon.

“With such a range of experts speaking on a wide variety of subjects, there really is something for everyone at NOCC,” he adds. “We’ve no doubt that tickets will be more in-demand than ever before, so we recommend people register now to avoid disappointment.”

National Organic Combinable Crops 3 July 2018.

Delegate tickets for the event cost £35, with discounts for additional family members. Download a booking form here

For booking forms and trade opportunities at the event please contact Steven on email : or call OF&G on 01939 291800.