Germaine, France

EARL Brayer

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Developing Sustainable Landscapes for the Future

EARL Brayer is a 215-hectare farm growing wheat, sugar beet, and potatoes as well as vegetables for processing, such as beans and peas. The farm is located in the heart of Aisne, an important agricultural region in northern France. The owners, Charlotte Brayer and her brother Jean-François Brayer, manage the farm with a strong focus on environmental conservation. Their goal is to develop landscapes for future generations by preserving biodiversity with sustainable farming practices. For Charlotte and Jean-François, new measures to promote healthy soils, flora and fauna make up a vital part of their farming practice at EARL Brayer. Jean-François also enjoys hunting in his free time, and therefore he knows that animals need areas to take refuge and feed. He has set up grass strips and hedges over the entire plot, and installed two beehives on the farm to observe the pollinators’ behaviour. The hives help them to schedule optimal spray times with minimal impact to helpful insects on their farm. To reduce the risk of point-source pollution, EARL Brayer installed a dedicated area for filling and washing equipment and a Phytobac® system to manage sprayer wash water.

 

  • Farm name and location: EARL Brayer – Germaine, near Saint Quentin, France.
  • History: Jean-François Brayer began managing the family farm in 2005, following his father’s footsteps. Charlotte, his sister, joined him in 2011.
  • Farm size: 215 hectares.
  • Crops: Wheat, sugar beet, oilseed rape, potatoes, and vegetables for processing like beans, spinach, and peas.
  • Notable partners: Ceta Ham Vermandois (local technical association), local water agency, OPL-Vert (fresh legumes producer organization), local hunters association.

 

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“The important thing is to pass on details of what works well. We've already done many things on the farm, but there is still a lot to do. The idea behind sustainable agriculture is to be able to leave a legacy for the future so things can carry on. I followed in my father's footsteps becoming a farmer. You could say that farmers helped to develop the landscape and that is what I love doing.”
Charlotte Brayer
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Farm Owner

Improving Biodiversity with the Use of Decision Support Tools

Preserving water and promoting wildlife is EARL Brayer’s focus. As vegetable farmers, pollinators and bee safety are especially important to Charlotte and Jean-François Brayer. To minimize the impact of crop protection on bees, they want to better understand the activity of the beneficial insects. An apiary on the farm and a decision support tool for the ‘connected beehive’ help them observe how the beehive works. A satellite-linked scale, placed under the hives, monitors the evolution of their bee colonies throughout the season by measuring its weight. Weight curves of the hive provided by the tool’s software program enable the farmers to determine the best times for spraying without impacting the bees. These insights also support the Brayer siblings in sharing the impact of their farming initiatives among farm visitors and the general public. 


Contact us

We're happy to connect with you! Contact Guillaume Chancrin with any questions or inquiries.