Real Road Trip 2019 – Tom Reynolds
Tom Reynolds – Pent Farm, Hythe, Kent
Farming 200ha in Hythe, Kent is farmer and contractor Tom Reynolds who manages the enterprise with his Uncle. Cropping includes pasture layswinter beans, winter wheat, barley and spring oats. Using grass as a break crop for the past five years has been a success with cattle integrated into the cereal rotation to help improve soil health and control weeds. “Using cattle is working well and has got to be the future of this farm. It’s got very heavy soil and it‘s too risky to grow high input crops all the time on this land. This is a far better, more sustainable way of going about things,” says Tom.
In terms of the Real Results Circle, Tom finds the trial helpful for examining what is happening on his own farm. “It’s a really good chance to show results on a wider scale. There’s so much data that we can access on farms these days, so it makes sense to try and put things up against each other.”
This year in the trial field Tom is putting Ascra up against the BASF programme, with the rest of the farm fungicide programme being based on Adexar. “We’ve used Adexar for a fair few years now and it’s given us a good reliable performance“ To prevent further disease pressure, Tom applied his T1 early this year and cut his T0 application to a minimum.
Black-grass is an issue, but nonetheless, Tom is in control and is flexible with his approach. Rotation wise he grows grass, then winter beans and then direct drills afterwards which he feels helps.
Conservation is important with an HLS scheme running across Pent Farm. “I think climate change is going to be our generations “thing“ to overcome. Here we’re trying different things in terms of sustainability and are trying to make our systems more robust.“