Pat Thornton

Occupation

Farmer

Address

AS Thornton & Son, Low Melwood Farm, Epworth Road, Owston Ferry, Doncaster, DN9 1AD

Cropping

Winter wheat, spring barley, OSR, other crops.

About the farmer

Brought up on the family farm, Pat has combined a career in agronomy with his own farming activities. He has worked with ADAS, NIAB/TAG and AHDB where he had responsibility for running monitor farms. He also works as a consultant.

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.

Farming philosophy

If you do the same thing every year, you can’t expect a different result.

Cultivation and drilling approach

Do only what is necessary.

Rotation

2 winter wheats, spring cereal, break.

Biggest agronomic challenges

My biggest agronomic challenges are growing oilseed rape, black-grass control and improving soil health.

What do they most value about Real Results?

I enjoy accessing new chemistry.