A unique opportunity to drive an arable improvement programme on farm

18 June 2014

Following all the excitement of Cereals, it’s clear that there is a huge desire to drive our industry forward, and a great vehicle for doing this is our Monitor Farm programme. This really gets going now with the first meetings on both the east region farms next week as follows:

  • Tuesday 24 June (11 am to 3.30pm including lunch) at Lower Heath Farm between Royston and Baldock, Herts (SG7 6SE)
  • Thursday 26 June (12.30pm to 5pm including lunch) at Fletchers Farm between Colchester and Braintree, Essex (CO6 3NT)

These initial meetings are run as an open day to introduce the programme and the farm, and represent a unique opportunity to influence the direction of the project over the next three years. All cereal and oilseed growers are very welcome to attend, but it would be helpful to know numbers for catering purposes so please email me at: tim.isaac@ahdb.org.uk

These Monitor Farms will bring together groups of like-minded farmers who wish to develop or expand their enterprises in an environment which encourages the sharing of information and best practice. Evaluating the options behind real farm decisions should result in tangible business improvement through the adoption of new technology and practices.

Highland Opening Event 5

Farmers at the opening meeting at the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Monitor Farm in Black Isle

All our Monitor Farms are typical working farms with a programme of meetings facilitated, but not dictated by us and this is the key. AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Monitor Farms and the Arable Business Groups linked to them are ‘owned and operated’ by the group – for farmers, by farmers. This results in only relevant issues and solutions being discussed.

Monitor Farms draw on local expertise, planning and community collaboration to improve farm production and make a big difference to farm profits. Success on a single farm provides nearby farmers with a wealth of practical and proven information to take home and use in their own enterprises.

The programme really has great potential to bring about a step change in the performance of arable businesses, but its success depends entirely on your participation, so I very much hope to see you at the open days next week.

Finally, my top tip for the month is…don’t just come to the open days, but also note down the dates for the winter meeting programmes which will be revealed at the end of the sessions next week.



Tim joined AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with more than 20 years of farm business experience in the East of England. Based at Huntingdon, Tim previously worked at the CLA, where he was Regional Adviser for the East of England. Trained in agricultural business management, Tim has also worked as a farm business consultant, specialising in the direct management of farms and contracting arrangements.