MJC Agri Services has a wide range of knowledge of various different crops and farming practises. As an independent agronomist we are not tied to any chemical companies so we do not force products or sales onto growers. We offer independent advice based on the farmers growing practises, farmers needs and budgets. MJC Agri Services also specialises in regenerative agriculture, min till/ direct drilling & conventional farming practises. We try and help growers produce high quality crops that are grown with as fewer inputs as possible and to reduce their time and labour producing crops, alongside improving their soil health, soil structure and carbon foot print.
Agronomical services offered:
- one of crop walking
- full years growing agronomy service
- soil sampling
- utilising technology to produce variable rate fertiliser application maps and to monitor field growth and Nitrogen uptake remotely.
- integrating livestock into arable/ tillage systems
- cover crops
Regenerative agriculture is tillage and grazing systems that rebuild soil structure and organic matter, restoring degraded/ing soil biodiversity – resulting in better nutrient availability for plants, improving the water cycle, increasing the amount of carbon that the soil is able to absorb.
How does Regenerative agriculture work?
By integrating permaculture & organic farming methods with conservation tillage practises ( cover crops, wider crop rotations, use of composts/ farm yard manure) to increase food production results in increasing amounts of top soil being produced, higher quality of crops, improved water and nutrient retention ensuring the crops have constant supply of water and nutrients in drought conditions, enhances biodiversity and natural habitats.
MJC Agri Services believes the agricultural industry needs to transform and start producing food alongside the environment. It is not a one size fits all policy, instead it requires different farming approaches to maximise productivity while restoring soil and biodiversity.
Key Practises of Regenerative agriculture:
1. Minimise Soil disturbance: no till/ min till practises.
When the soil is being constantly moved and worked hard by intensive cultivation practises, the soils structure is being damaged making it more vulnerable to erosion by water & wind reducing the microbial activity in the soil. By changing to min till/ direct drilling or rotationally ploughing start to increase mycorrhizal fungi which improves the soil health, better rooting of crops and water/ nutrient retention.
2. Crops in the ground all year round: cover crops/ catch crops.
This prevents soil erosion, nutrient loses, helps keep a green cover on the soil to supress weeds, increase organic matter, roots of crops can penetrate compacted areas improving drainage and nutrient access.
3. Diversification of crops: cover crops, intercropping, living mulches, different species in grassland and biodiversity areas.
By planting an array of crops supports productivity, diversity & reduces the need to artificial products such as herbicides/ fungicides and insecticides. Having a small rotation or continuously growing the same crop drains the soil of nutrients, encourages pests/weeds/diseases to grow and potentially lead to resistant species. In regenerative agriculture rotation or using break/ catch crops limits pest infestations and allows beneficial microbes within the soil to multiply. Rotating between hungry crops such as cereals and Legumes reduces the need for artificial fertilisers. Using living mulches/ intercropping is planting a crop in-between the main commercial crop e.g. a small clover variety in a cereal crop or under sowing maize with grass. Biodiversity areas are important for attracting pollinators and beneficial predators to eradicate pests in commercial crops.
4. Optimising applications of agricultural products: using precision agricultural equipment.
MJC Agri Services is able to look at growing crops via satellite and produce variable rate mapping for fertiliser applications. This is to ensure maximum efficiency when spreading and ensuring the crop reaches its full potential and effective use of fertiliser for the the grower. MJC Agri Services can also take tissue samples in field to determine Nitrogen uptake in the plant which can then be used in conjunction with the variable rate mapping software. Via satellite it can be observed where N uptake is greater, which areas of a field where plant growth is slower or the crop canopy isn’t as thick to help indicate where there might be issues within a field.
5. Integrating livestock: integrating livestock in arable/ tillage enterprises.
Livestock area a great way of converting plant material into organic matter. By integrating livestock into an arable rotation helps improve soil structure and fertility. MJC Agri Services can offer advice on using livestock to graze cover crops rather than using chemical methods, use sheep to reduce herbicide and fungicide use on winter crops. By utilising intercropping and livestock is a great way of utilising ground, increase forage production and can finish stock easily.