Real results 50 profile - Ian Lutey

Name: Ian Lutey

Occupation: Farmer

Farm: Monks Hardwick Cottage

Cropping: Winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley, winter oilseed rape, and spring beans.

Farm machinery:

Fendt 936, CAT 765C, MF6490, MF9495, tractors. JCB 531-70 telehandler, Case 9240 Combine, Horsch Terrano cultivator, Vaderstad 8m drill, Bateman RB35 sprayer.

About the farmer:

Ian comes from a mixed farming family from Cornwall. He obtained a BSc in agriculture at Reading University and has been in his current position as Farm Manager for 10 years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in farm management in Cambs/Herts. He is a professional member of the Institute of Agricultural Management. Agriculture has been in Ian’s blood since an early age and he always wanted to farm. Over the years he has worked with some good mentors and built up good contacts within YFC.

About the farm:

A more flexible rotation has recently been adopted, leading to a move away from block cropping, where necessary, in order to target black grass populations. Most other crops are sold and delivered locally within a 50 mile radius. The farm has been in ELS for the last 10 years and has this year been accepted in to a Higher Tier Stewardship Scheme. Crop establishment on the farm is a mix of direct and min-till systems, with the plough being used rotationally, where necessary, to assist with blackgrass control. The farm is also part of a facilitated funding group with neighbouring businesses.

Farming philosophy:

Ian’s aim is to improve soil structure, reduce weed burden and to provide a good return on capital invested in the business. He looks to pay attention to detail in performance, by making small improvements in efficiency across all areas of the business. In the current business, a major long-term strategy is to employ balanced rotations and technology to be able to continue farming, despite the challenges of significant black grass pressure. He also looks to use plants’ natural resistance, by selecting varieties that have the ability to fight/tolerate disease. Ian believes that high yields coupled with high prices are the best way to remain competitive in an increasingly challenging marketplace and he looks to grow only crops that the market requires. Local opportunities are also targeted if significant premiums exist.

Hopes for Real Results participation:

To gain additional data to help support the agronomic decisions being made and to assist in getting the best economic return over fungicide inputs. With margins tight, and disease levels capable of having devastating effects on the business (as in 2012) real time data will help manage the risk. The 2017 results have changed how I perceive risk from Septoria. Latent disease can significantly affect yield, because the plants metabolism is compromised before visible symptoms are seen.