Real results 50 profile - Tim and Kit Papworth

Name: Tim and Kit Papworth

Occupation: Farmer

Farm: Lodge Farm

Cropping: Includes winter wheat (1000 acres), barley, oilseed rape, potatoes (crisping, processing, fresh and salads), grass, sugar beet, peas (combining and vining) , beans, turnips, dwarf beans.

Farm machinery:

Includes Horsch drill, tractors from John Deere, Fendt, Claas, Lemken 7 furrow plough, Claas Lexion combines, Grimme potato equipment, John Deere self-propelled sprayer and trailed sprayer.

About the farmer:

A fourth generation  of a Norfolk farming family Tim (49) was educated at  King Edward VII School , Norwich qualified as a butcher then studied agriculture at Aberdeen University and then at Seale Hayne College in Devon for a post-graduate course in Farm Business Management .

Tim was involved in seeing through a dramatic expansion in the farming business and in a butchery business which has grown from one shop to four with associated and cutting plants.

A director of LF Papworth Ltd, the contract farming business, he is responsible for all aspects of potato and vegetable production, marketing, livestock supply and selection, haulage and transportation, input purchases and human resources.

Tim is very involved in the local community including serving as a parish councillor. He frequently welcomes school visits and has hosted Open Farm Sunday.

He is also very active on the national stage. In 2007 he was appointed to the Potato Council Board and served during a period of significant change for the sector body including it relocating to Stoneleigh and becoming part of AHDB. His term finished in 2014. Since 2009 he has served on National NFU Board for Horticulture and Potatoes and was chairman of the NFU Potato Forum since its creation in 2010 until 2015. Tim is also chairman of the  East Anglian Horticulture and Potatoes.

FACTS and BASIS Soil and Water qualified he is a committee member of a local abstractors group, a member of the UK Irrigation Association, a member of the NFU Water Resources Group.

There are many more appointments – clearly a case of “ask a busy man” if you want something done!

About the farm:

This is a complex business which involves agreements with 27 different landlords and six main farming units spread across a 25 mile stretch of Norfolk. There are also seasonal potato growing agreements. Tim describes most of the area with its fine medium loams “boy’s land.”  Asked which crops he grows be replies, “It would be easier to tell you which crops we don’t grow!”

Potato production is central however and covers the crisping, chipping, processing, fresh and salad sectors. Around 11 varieties are grown on 350 acres, and a further 150 acres are lifted under contract. Vining peas are grown for Anglia Pea Growers and the Aylsham Growers cooperative. Maize is grown for anaerobic digestion. Carrot land has been let out on an annual basis when suitable.

In 2007 the business was awarded an Environment Agency water efficiency award.  In 2010 the Bayer Countryside Careers accolade followed, and the business won the prestigious Norfolk Farms Championship in 2009 and 2014.

Farming philosophy:

Despite a very diverse business Tim has a very straightforward philosophy  – “ I simple try to achieve the highest yields and the best prices for each of my crops.”

Hopes for Real Results participation:

He has no fixed views other than being delighted to be accepted. “I just like trying new things whether it’s crop varieties or agrichemicals and then seeing what works best under our conditions. Hopefully this will help the process,” he said.