#YourHarvest – how you can get involved

15 July 2022

Combinable crops
A picture of a farmer doing a thumbs up sign, stood in front of a combine harvester holding a sign that reads #YourHarvest

The NFU’s annual #YourHarvest campaign began on Monday 18 July 2022. Find out why the campaign is so important and how you can get involved.

Now in its fourth year, the campaign uses social media platforms to reach out to the public and MPs. It promotes arable farmers’ positive contributions to food production, the farmed landscape and diverse habitats.

Our role in food security

NFU Combinable Crops Board chair Matt Culley said: “With all the global uncertainty, and growing concern about food security, it’s more important than ever that we all highlight the role of farmers in producing high quality food for UK consumers’ tables, and the need to make this more resilient.

“We need to ensure that both politicians and the public appreciate the economic contribution our sector brings to the UK and understand the high environmental standards we produce to.”

Engaging with the public

“People see fields changing colour, and the harvest underway, but sadly few understand exactly what’s going on and the link between how the crops we grow contribute to the rich environment around us, and the feed and food made from it.

“It's key that we highlight the connection between what we do on farm, how our crops are used, and how much of our produce ends up on people's plates.”

#YourHarvest is our chance to showcase the work we do and the food we produce to the public and policymakers”.

#YourHarvest – things you can do

Below are the key messages we’ll be sharing across our social media this #YourHarvest. Please also share these in your posts along with the photos and videos from your farm.

  • This year it's more important than ever that you know that we are working to produce quality food for your table.
  • British farmers are producing your daily bread through thick and thin.
  • From bread and breakfast cereals to vegetable oils and oat biscuits – UK farmers are out harvesting your food in a field near you.
  • As harvest begins, make sure you back British farming, to help build more resilient domestic food systems in an ever-uncertain world.
  • This year more than ever it’s important to back British farmers. Your support will help us keep on providing high quality, nutritious, and affordable food for the nation.

Here's how you can use social media to influence people

  • Shoot videos and share them – your experiences are stories that need to be told
  • Share facts and stats – if you're proud of our industry, tell people what it achieves
  • Take photos of your field signs, use #YourHarvest and #WhatsInMyField
  • Use the #YourHarvest hashtag – hashtags are a great way to make your voice heard
  • Add the time your photos / videos were taken – this shows that harvest is happening 24 hours a day
  • Post more stories – stories are a fun way of sharing the behind-the-scenes action on your farm. You can even do it on Twitter too with their ‘Fleets’ feature!
  • Post images – the British countryside is a beautiful canvas
  • Tag your MP – make your voice heard in the corridors of power

#YourHarvest infographics

We've created a suite of infographics for you to use on Twitter during the #YourHarvest campaign.

Simply click on the infographic, save the image to your device and add it to your tweet. 

Order your field signs today

We have created a selection of field signs to help you communicate with the public and share the great story that British farming has to tell. These cover growing wheat, growing barley, grazing sheep, grazing cattle, and looking after the environment.

We also have 11 field signs that are available for members to download and print. As well as the five above they include growing oats and growing oil seed rape. 

Matt said: “Few people recognise what a field of wheat or barley looks like until it turns golden at harvest time. I urge you all to either order or download the signs and place them prominently by footpaths, so the public better appreciate what we do.”

Tips for a impactful social post

Consider creating a video for each of your crops based around the following questions:

  1. Introduce the crop and explain what you're doing with it.
  2. Provide examples of what products the crop can be used for – does your crop go into any well-known brands/products?
  3. Explain how what you do benefits/protects the environment – e.g. work to increase soil health, any tree/hedgerow management, wildlife encouragement, use of cover crops etc.
  4. Briefly describe the farming process for the crop you are talking about – when do you plant, what do you have to do to keep the crop healthy, when it is harvested?
  5. Describe why harvest is an important period for farmers and why it is important/relevant to the rest of the nation – e.g. bringing in the core ingredients for many of the nation’s staple foods.

Golden rule: Be sure to film in the field of crop you are talking about!

this is your caption

this is your caption

Helpful statistics

Wheat

  • Every year the UK produces over 20 million tonnes of grain providing home-grown raw ingredients for our food and animal feed.
  • The UK produces over 4 million tonnes of flour every year.
  • Sales of flour rose by 82% in 2020 due to lockdown baking.
  • A hectare of wheat – about the size of a football pitch – produces an average of 7.5 tonnes of grain. That’s enough to make 11,500 loaves of bread! 
  • A combine harvester can do the work of 1,000 people.
  • An individual stalk of wheat is called an 'ear of wheat' and each ear contains about 50 grains.  

Barley

  • 'Malting barley' is used to make whisky and beer (along with hops), with 50% of UK malt going into the whisky sector.
  • The maltster demand for UK malting barley is around 1.9million tonnes each year.
  • The estimated sector value of winter barley is £364m and spring barley £554m per season.
  • 95% of cask ale produced in the world is consumed in the UK.
  • Barley can also be grown for feed for livestock.

Oats

  • Oats are mainly used as an ingredient in breakfast products, such as porridge, cereals and granola, as well as snack bars and even oat milk. They can also be found in animal feed, especially for horses.
  • Oats have a lower nutrient requirement than other cereal crops so are a good choice for inclusion in arable rotations and are good for improving areas of poorer soil quality.
  • The UK is fully self-sufficient for oats, with around 95% of the UK crop being exported to the EU historically.

Oilseed rape

  • Oilseed rape is the bright yellow crop you see in fields in the spring.
  • Oilseed rape has a higher burning point than other oils, so it is good for cooking, especially frying.
  • Rapeseed makes a variety of products, including edible vegetable oils for cooking, animal feed, biodiesel and even printer ink!
  • Once seeds have been crushed for oil, the bi-product is used in animal feed.
  • Oilseed rape has colourful open flowers, making it extra attractive to pollinators and other insects and is a key food source in early spring.

Nature

  • Farmers maintain 411,600km of hedgerows in England and Wales, a length which is enough to wrap round the earth’s equator more than 10 times.
  • There are around 95,000 km of stone walls on farmland in England and Wales.
  • Across Great Britain there are estimated to be 500,000 ponds.
  • Of the total area of woodland and forestry in England and Wales (1.6m hectares) around 28% occur on farms.

harvest

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