Real results 50 profile - Nigel Durdy
Name: Nigel Durdy
Farm: Ninevah Farms
Cropping: Winter wheat, oilseed rape, spring barley, beans, maize and winter rye.
Three rubber track Claas crawlers (models 75, 55 and 45), MF and JD wheeled tractors, Massey Ferguson combine on tracks, Challenger Rogator sprayer with 36 metre booms, Vaderstad Rapid 6m drill, subsoiler, Cultipress.
About the farmer:
Nigel (54) farms with his brother Adrian. He left school at 16 and started work as a contractor before being able to buy some land. Between them the brothers own 250 hectares and operate seven contracts. Nigel has been BASIS qualified for 15 years. He is married with three daughters.
About the farm:
Nigel farms a wide range of soils with everything from blow away sand to peat, loams and boulder clay. He is a great believer in tracks and the business has three Claas Challenger rubber-tracked tractors.
Crops are established by subsoiling followed by the Culitpress. No cultivations are carried out after the end of September with stale seedbeds sprayed as required. Some fields have no blackgrass and some have either non-resistant or fully herbicide resistant populations.
The rotation is no longer based on winter wheat and oilseed rape but now includes spring barley and spring beans. Maize and winter rye are also now being grown for a nearby AD plant. Both help with the blackgrass. Maize because it is not sown until the late spring and the rye because it is harvested before the blackgrass seeds.
The Vaderstad is used as used both as a conventional drill and as a semi-direct drill and 50% of the fertiliser is now applied as liquid.
When doing his BASIS training he recalls someone told him that a farmer has up to 16,000 possible decisions to make to grow a crop. It starts with the choice of field and crop and goes on through all the possible options of inputs and timings. Fortunately a lot of it becomes second nature, he says. He drives the sprayer which helps him to get to know the crops.