Distinguished Soil Health Pioneers to Head up BASE-UK Conference – 7th and 8th Feb 2024

Two world-renowned soil health and cover crop experts will be speaking at the BASE-UK conference in February 2024, the farmer organisation has announced.

Brazilian cover crop guru Dr Ademir Calegari, who has over 30 years of experience with no-till across farms of all sizes in South America and beyond is speaking on the first day of the conference as part of a line-up which has both UK and overseas participants, including farmers sharing their learnings.


He is also recognised as having mentored the French regenerative agriculture expert Frédéric Thomas, who spoke at last year’s conference and continues to support and inspire BASE-UK members.

Ademir’s distinguished work on cover crops, no-till and crop rotation and their importance to sustainable agriculture will be the basis of his talk. Credited with accelerating the no-till revolution in South America, Ademir’s belief that feeding the soil to feed the crop is expected to be a major theme of his presentation.

As Edwin Taylor, chairman of BASE-UK points out, having Ademir at the conference will give farmers the chance to broaden their knowledge and improve their understanding of how to get the most from their farming system.

“We are thrilled that Ademir will be with us at our conference and very much look forward to hearing what he has to say, so that we can build on what we are doing.” 

Also speaking is US-based Jay Fuhrer, the founder of the soil health movement and mentor to many of the early adopters, including Gabe Brown.  He learnt his knowledge about cover cropping from Ademir Calegari, and is taking part on the second day of the conference.

With over 40 years of experience in helping farms to build healthy soil and improve soil function, Jay is often associated with the rainfall simulator, which shows the impact of rain events on differently managed soils.

Jay Fuhrer

Now based at Menoken Farm in North Dakota, Jay continues to put his soil health principles into practice.

His view is that these principles are universal – but stresses that how farmers get there and how fast they go is up to them.

His extensive knowledge of how no-till, cover crops and grazing management can benefit soil health and improve the water cycle is in greater demand than ever, says Edwin, who emphasises the challenges that all farming businesses face with climate change.

“This sort of expertise is exactly what we need to share,” he says. “Again, we are delighted that Jay is able to join us and we look forward to benefiting from his advice and guidance.”

Other speakers at the conference include husband and wife team Alex and Hannah Fraser – Hannah is a Nuffield Scholar who will discuss nutrient density of food.  Donna Udall (soon to be known by her newly married name of Davys) will present on Biochar asking – Gimmick or Silver Bullet?  BASE-UK members Toby Simpson, Ben Adams, David Purdy will also be joining the program.

There are just a few weeks left for you to book a place at our Annual Conference on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th February 2024 – closing date is 15th January 2024.  If you would like to attend, please email rebecca@base-uk.co.uk as soon as possible.  All details are available on our website www.base-uk.co.uk


At the end of September 2023, eighteen BASE-UK members attended a Communication Skills Course with Susie Emmett of Green Shoots Productions.

Sponsored by BASE-UK, the course was designed to enable them to pass on their knowledge and experience in farming and the agricultural industry.  As a result, we have already seen some members presenting at farm walks, while others are speaking at the Conference.  All have said how much they appreciate their newfound presentation skills.

The BASE-UK Committee is considering running this offer again in the future and will notify members when this is available.


On Monday 12th February 2024 BASE-UK is hosting an event by kind invitation from Professor Adrian Newton of the James Hutton Institute. As well as Jay Fuhrer, one of our key speakers from the Conference, the following experts from the James Hutton Institute will also be speaking:

  • Roy Neilson on whether our cover crop trial shows any impact on beneficial and/or pathogenic nematodes.
  • Tracy Valentine on the Grieve’s House long term tillage trial findings and some cover crop work too.
  • Tim George on developments in monitoring soil health in Regen Ag systems and an update on the International Barley Hub (IBH).

Other details were still being confirmed as Direct Driller went to press.

Several of our Scottish members work with the Institute and assist with their research.  Doug Christie has a close working relationship with Adrian Newton and often undertakes trial work for them.

This event will be for BASE-UK members only and has limited places.  Further information will be emailed to members in due course.  Speakers are subject to change.

BASE-UK is an independent, nationwide, farmer-led knowledge exchange organisation, encouraging members to make agriculture more sustainable by using conservation systems – no-till; cover cropping; integrating livestock; diversifying rotations; using less invasive, cost-effective establishments.  Growing Confidence for a Decade!


Membership for BASE-UK is open to anyone with an interest in regenerative agriculture.  Over 80% of our members are farmers and we pride ourselves on not dropping below this percentage of farmer members in order to retain the key farmer led knowledge within the group.  If you would like to know more about us or how to join BASE-UK, please visit our website: www.base-uk.co.uk email Rebecca@base-uk.co.uk

Direct Driller @ Cereals