Real Road Trip 2019 – Robin Aird
Robin Aird – Charlton Park Farms, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Farm Manager of Charlton Park Farms, Robin Aird is trying out a refreshing new work, life balance which will see his team no longer work on a weekend. He believes it is important to look after each other and keep his workers motivated and enthusiastic in order to achieve the best results on farm. This new approach is part of the business efficiency review which has resulted in the use of liquid fertiliser, so they can apply during wet weather allowing dryer days to be used for spray applications.
As well as graduating from Harper Adams in 2000, Robin is BASIS and FACTS qualified allowing him to manage the farm agronomy. His ambition at Charlton Park is to farm as productively as possible whilst remaining sustainable and committed to caring for the estate’s environment. In total 78 ha of woodland area is managed on the farm and some areas of grassland are let out on annual grazing lets.
The farming business in total covers 1200 ha of grade three arable land growing winter wheat, oilseed rape, spring and winter barley. Robin admits black grass is an ongoing challenge and the loss of chemistry for treating cereals is making farm decisions more difficult.
On the plus side, Robin has successfully been able to eliminate brome as a problem and due to the practise of min-till over the past 14 years, he has witnessed a significant improvement in soil quality and an increase in earthworms.
Involved in the Real Result Circle for the last three years, Robin finds the data crucial for confirming his agronomic decisions. “I just want to make sure that what we are doing here is right so by using our own results and comparing it with other farmers in the network we can be confident in our decisions.”