IFM is a whole farm approach that combines the best of traditional methods with beneficial modern technologies, to achieve high productivity with a low environmental impact.
Farming has always been innovative and enterprising, responding to consumer demands and Government priorities but the challenges now are very different. Food security, climate change, a growing, aging and urbanised population all put pressures on our natural resources and create disconnections between food, farming and nature.
IFM contributes to solving these global challenges. It is a widely accepted and practical way forward for the farmers to deliver sustainable agriculture. It is a balanced approach built around existing knowledge and sound husbandry principles and is constantly being improved in accordance with current research and new technology. This encourages farmers to review their current practices and make changes.
With IFM attention to detail is key. Wise and efficient use of resources, smarter approaches to business planning and new technologies all contribute to increasing productivity whilst still protecting our valuable resources. A recent survey carried out among LEAF members also demonstrated significant costs savings, through better soil management, the use of minimum tillage and reduced pesticide use, alongside improved wildlife numbers and reduced CO2 emissions.
LEAF provides a range of management tools to support farmers in the adoption of IFM. This includes the LEAF Sustainable Farming Review, Integrated Farm Management: A Guide, IFM Bulletin, IFM Information Centre and the opportunity to see IFM in practice on our UK network of Demonstration Farms and Innovation Centres.