AN organic on-farm conference returns this year as a live event, featuring a series of presentations, seminars, and farm tours.

Registration is now open to attend the OF&G’s National Organic Combinable Crops (NOCC) hosted at John Pawsey’s mixed arable and sheep farm in Shimpling, Suffolk, on July 6.

Organised by OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers), NOCC is held in association with Agricology, the Organic Research Centre, the Organic Advisory Support and Information Service, Organic Arable, Triodos Bank and the Woodland Trust.

Broadcaster Charlotte Smith resumes her role as event convenor, leading a range of conversations during the day. After transferring last year’s NOCC to a series of webinars, OF&G’s business development manager, Steven Jacobs, said places for the 2021 conference will be limited in order to operate safely.

He said: “Firstly, it is so good to invite people back on farm. Of course, the safe running of NOCC is our main priority and we want to ensure it is, as always, a great day out for our wide range of attendees.

"We are limiting delegate places to ensure social distancing. However, with fewer places available, we are experiencing high demand.”

“OF&G’s annual farm conference has always had a broad appeal, we make the programme as inclusive as possible.

"Places are not only for organic farmers – we welcome non-organic farmers and industry delegates from across food networks to discuss the challenges and rewards in the organic sector specifically but in faming more generally as well.”

John Pawsey's family have farmed in Suffolk for four generations. Mr Pawsey started converting the 650-hectare farm to organic production in 1999. This decision, like for many other farmers, was initially motivated by commercial benefits, as well growing concerns about overworked soils and diminishing biodiversity.

OF&G will be joined by Defra’s Future Farming team and the crop research team from the ORC and NIAB, who will be on site to talk about seeds and soils. The overarching theme of the conference is ‘the need for seed diversity’ and that need has never been greater.

Presentations and the NOCC farm walk will all be recorded on video and will be made available online following the event. This includes a pre-recorded discussion with Charlotte Smith, John Pawsey and another OF&G licensed farmer, NFU deputy president, Stuart Robertsconsider organic farming, new government payment schemes and the future of UK farming.

Use the hashtag #NOCC21 and follow @ofgorganic on social media. To register interest in a delegate place email