Farming Connect has announced a new network of 18 demonstration sites to drive improvements and increase productivity across a variety of farming systems.

The sites are diverse and include beef, sheep, dairy and poultry enterprises but two features that unite all 18 are a desire to improve output and performance and a willingness to share their learnings and experience with the broader industry.

The network is key to helping all farmers in Wales to drive improvements through open days and technical events to communicate progress achieved in projects and trials.

During the next three years, the farms will take part in activities to advance on-farm productivity, using new techniques and monitoring performance.

Speaking during the launch at the Royal Welsh Show, Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said every demonstration farmer had been selected for their progressive approach and ambition to increase efficiency and productivity across all levels of working.

“Working alongside many of Europe’s leading sector specialists, the new network farms will trial new systems, seeing what works well and learning from those which do not, implementing new or different approaches to achieve their respective goals, and informing others as they learn,’’ she said.

“Each business will deliver a number of projects appropriate to their business and the farmers in their communities. They will be at the forefront of new technology, including ‘precision agriculture’ which will enable farmers to receive data on all aspects of their farm including soil, grassland, livestock, nutrients, slurry and air quality, to inform key management decisions.’’

Among the projects, Huw and Meinir Jones will explore options of how to maximise liveweight gain off grass in their beef enterprise at Bryn Farm, near Cardigan.

They say learning from others is extremely valuable in all sectors of farming.

“We go to many on-farm events and even if we only pick up one thing from that visit that we can use on our own farm then it has been very worthwhile. As Farming Connect Demonstration Farmers we will learn from others and hopefully others will learn from us,’’ says Huw.

Dairy farmers Ceredig and Sara Evans have already been taking steps to become more efficient and, as Demonstration Farmers, they want to take it to the next level by putting more precision into their system, to fine-tune their operation and potentially increase milk yields and profits.

“Becoming a Farming Connect Demonstration Site is an exciting opportunity to bring in the right people to help us achieve this and to allow others to learn from the trials and projects,’’ says Ceredig, who milks 300 Holsteins at Erw Fawr, Anglesey.

Farming Connect, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra, is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and Welsh Government.

For full details of the new Demonstration Sites visit

The new demonstration sites are as follows:

Nantglas, Talog, Carmarthenshire (dairy)

Pendre, Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion (sheep)

Bryn, Ferwig, Ferwig, Ceredigion (beef and arable)

Cefn Llan, Llangammarch Wells, Powys (beef and sheep)

Fferm Rhiwaedog, Bala, Gwynedd (beef and sheep)

Halghton Hall, Bangor-on-Dee, Wrexham (sheep)

Mountjoy, Treffgarne, Pembrokeshire (dairy)

Hendre Ifan Goch, Bridgend, Glamorgan (sheep)

Glanmynys, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire (sheep)

Graig Olway, Llangeview, Usk, Monmouthshire (dairy, beef and arable)

Wern, Y Foel, Welshpool, Powys (poultry)

Dol y Garn, Llanbadarn Fynydd, Llandrindod Wells, Powys (beef and sheep)

Moelogan Fawr, Llanrwst, Conwy (beef and sheep)

Pentre Farm, Pentrecelyn, Ruthin, Denbighshire (beef and sheep)

Cefngwilgy Fawr, Llanidloes, Powys (beef and sheep)

Erw Fawr, Holyhead, Anglesey (dairy)

Bodwi, Mynytho, Pwllheli, Gwynedd (beef and sheep)

Pantyderi, Boncath, Pembrokeshire (beef, sheep and arable)