Winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley, OSR, beans, maize.
About the farmer
The farm spans a 20-mile radius ranging from sand, limestone brash and coal measure clays. I farm with my father and brother plus one full time man and casual labour in the summer.
We use liquid fertiliser for nitrogen and sulphur. We use either straights for P and K or compounds with some N too. Wheat is established by min till for first wheats and ploughed for 2nd wheats.
OSR is established conventionally but we have been trialling direct/reduced tillage methods with success and will probably move more in that direction. Black-grass is not the major weed concern, rye grass is a bigger problem.
About the farm
The land here is pretty heavy.
The position as regards to blackgrass is challenging on this heavy land but rotational control is proving beneficial. A low disturbance cultivation and establishment system is favoured. It is a learning process, but I am using cover crops and direct drilling when appropriate.
I regard establishing oilseed rape as the biggest rotational challenge in my system. Establishing the crop after a spring cereal can be very short to create a strong plant to cope with CSFB pressure.
We aim to produce crops that attract a premium as we don’t get huge yields. We try and increase soil organic matter through chopping straw and applying muck in the form of FYM and biosolids.
Cultivation and drilling approach
Our approach has stayed the same in using a Vaderstad establishment system when conditions allow, some late cereals are established using combination due to the wet winter.
Our rotation is becoming a little ‘flexible’ due to uncertain weather patterns but is focused on maximizing the winter wheat area and minimizing risk from OSR.
Biggest agronomic challenges
My biggest agronomic challenges are agrochemical revocations, lack of effective insecticides and extreme weather events.
What do they most value about Real Results?
I value looking at the YEN results in terms of maximizing potential yield and looking to address where potential is lost. I also enjoy trying new chemistry on your own farm, within your own system.