Starting with a farm review

To get us started on the Monitor Farm project I’ve been working with agricultural business consultant Philip Dunn on the whole farm review, ready for our opening meeting on 1 July. If you want to come along, don’t forget to email Regional Manager Harry Henderson so we know how many people to expect.

There are a number of things I’m keen to look at during the here years of the Monitor Farm programme, including soil and mycotoxins. The soils vary greatly here, from sandy clay loam to heavy blue clay. We do have fields with more than one soil type, too. On the mycotoxin front, I’m working with Bradshaws Mill Driffield to see how we can reduce the risk.

I supply direct to Bradshaws, because it allows me to remain in control, and quickly solve any issues that may arise. Our deliveries are now made in a new 17t trailer I’ve just bought, which makes our road haulage safer.  And it’s a lot easier to use than our previous one!

Biscuit wheat transport

My brother Adrian with a load of biscuit wheat.

As for other crops, this is our first year of doing feed barley – we can’t grow spring malting barley because our soil is too heavy. My target price is £150/tonne for the feed barley, so let’s see what happens…

Up here in Yorkshire, there’s a fairly good energy crop market, so our barn is stacked with bales of miscanthus ready to go to Drax at some point.

Finally, our OSR is looking great! And the field next to the farmhouse is full of wildlife – hares, skylarks, tree and house sparrows, and the odd pollen beetle, of course.

Phil Meadley and Harry Henderson in a field of OSR

Me and Harry Henderson, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Regional Manager, inspecting my OSR.

PhilipMeadley

PhilipMeadley

Philip Meadley farms 250ha near Driffield, approximately four miles from the North Sea coast. In a four-way family partnership, he grows milling wheat, oilseed rape, peas and barley. Phil is particularly interested in soil health, reducing fuel usage, addressing mycotoxins and looking at his whole approach to cultivations. http://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/driffield

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