10-02-2014 06:03 AM | Arable, Cereal, Crops, News

Farmers urged to explore ornamental opportunities



Farmers and landowners across Wales are invited to attend a free evening event later this month to find out how diversifying into ornamental plants can help their business grow.

Supply chain efficiency project Horticulture Wales is teaming up with Farming Connect to host the special session, which will be held at Derwen Garden Centre in Guilsfield, Welshpool, from 7.00-9.00pm on Tuesday 18 February.

With many Welsh farmers set to be affected by major upcoming reforms to direct payments made through the Common Agricultural Policy, the event aims to showcase the potential business benefits on offer to landowners that branch out into ornamental horticulture.

Andy Joseph, Chris Andrew, and Dafydd Joseph of the 280-acre Dingle Nurseries will be on hand to outline the huge opportunities there are for farmers to diversify and supply local garden centres and nurseries. With more than 40 years’ industry experience, Andy will highlight some of the plants, shrubs, herbs, and trees that are suitable to be grown on land in Powys.

The evening will also include an informal question and answer session where farmers can quiz a panel including Andy Jospeh, ADAS Horticulture Consultant Chris Creed, and a number of local ornamental growers. Comprehensive information packs full of useful contacts and details of the business support on offer will also be available to take away, while light refreshments will be provided too.

Karen Rodenburg, Project Officer for Horticulture Wales, commented: “This event is an ideal opportunity for local farmers to explore the possibilities available if they were to earmark even a small proportion of their holdings for growing plants. Farmers already have the land and much of the machinery required to diversify into horticulture, in this instance ornamental plants, and doing so can often lead to significantly higher yields and financial returns when compared to other forms of agriculture.”

Andy Joseph of the Dingle Nurseries added: “We buy in about £3 million pounds worth of plants annually from outside this area, of which, practically all could be grown here in Mid Wales. The returns per acre are very good, and new growers would have an almost guaranteed market.”

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