Real results 50 profile - Edward Vipond

Name: Edward Vipond

Occupation: Agronomist

Farm: Troston Farms

Cropping: Winter wheat, oilseed rape, sugar beet, winter rye, forage maize, forage rye, forage triticale and spring beans for human consumption.

Farm machinery:

 Claas tractors including Xerion, Axion and Arion models, Vaderstad primary cultivators and drills, Sumo Quatro subsoiler/cultivator, Lemken plough with press, and Claas Lexion 750 with 9.0m header.

About the farmer:

Edward’s family farmed in Suffolk for 100 years before moving to the Scottish Borders. He moved north and worked on a mixed farm to gain experience prior to studying agriculture at Moulton College in Northants followed by a post-graduate farm business and organisation management course at Scottish Agricultural College, Aberdeen in 1994.

He then worked as a farm manager for Velcourt for 14 years. He undertook a Nuffield Scholarship in 2005 studying precision farming in Australia, United States and Europe. On his return he moved to a position managing an estate in Gloucestershire and two in Scotland.

Three years ago he moved to his present position at Troston Farms Ltd near Bury St Edmunds.

About the farm:

“We have everything from blow away sand to moderately heavy clay. Some of the light land requires irrigation while other fields on the same farm can have structural issues.”

The sugar beet factory at Bury St Edmunds is only eight miles from the main farm and Edward intends to stick with the crop while acknowledging that yields have to keep on going up. Weed beet is a problem and is regarded as a real yield robber.

Blackgrass has to be strictly controlled and rotational ploughing is used to that end. “If we lose Roundup, the industry will be in real mess,” he adds.

Rye is grown with some destined for Ryvita and the rest on contract or a nearby Anaerobic Digester. The forage maize is also sold as feedstock for the AD plant.

The farms are in four blocks and stretch over a distance of 15 miles. Some of the light land is rented out for outdoor pig production.

Farming philosophy:

Edwards says:

“Keep it as simple as possible but pay attention to the detail. We are moving into uncharted waters with Brexit so everything will have to be kept lean and efficient.”

Hopes for Real Results participation:

“There is nothing like doing a trial on your own farm. I am particularly keen to prove the benefits of not using an SDHI at T1. I want to have confidence in planning future spraying programmes.”