Getting maximum value for your crop

Richard Laverick

At the end of September AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds announced eight new Monitor Farms with Julian Radcliffe (Cardiff) and Sam Watson-Jones (Newport, Shropshire) joining Mark Wood (Hereford) and Robert Fox (Leamington Spa) as part of the network in the West.  The four farms now provide good coverage of the region and offer the opportunity to address a wide range of issues from technical challenges including soil management, the cost and benefits of precision farming and rotation modelling through to staff management and succession planning with a look at the ‘skills gap’ on farm.

Each Monitor Farm has established a steering group and I have been working with each group to develop the detail and format for their programme of winter meetings.  We are also working on the programme for subsequent years.  Each farm will be in the network for three years and this provides a unique opportunity for a detailed and long-term assessment of new techniques and different approaches applied on a commercial scale.

Detail for each monitor farm can be found at

Reflecting on the past few months, we didn’t have a bad harvest and drilling has gone well. Prices are not as we would like them but there is still plenty of time to market the crop in the store and the one now emerging in the field. We need to think about how you can extract the maximum value for your crop from the market, something we intend to examine as part of the Monitor Farm programme.

The dates for the next meeting at each Monitor Farm are:

Hereford – 12 November

Newport, Shropshire – 2 December

Cardiff – 4 December

Leamington Spa – 22 January 2015

If you would like to attend any of the meetings please email me at

I would also like feedback on AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds events in the West, ideas about programme content and the key challenges facing your business that you would like to see an AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds event address.  If you have any thoughts on the support we can provide please email me at the above address.

I look forward to meeting you at one of our farm events in the coming months.



Richard Meredith grew up on a family farm in Herefordshire, and is based in Ledbury. He joined AHDB first as a Regional Benchmarking Officer, providing benchmarking support to AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, Eblex and DairyCo levy payers. Prior to that, Richard worked for five years with a machinery ring co-ordinating contracting and hire services in the agricultural and related sectors. As AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Regional Manager, Richard is passionate about helping to strengthen UK farm businesses, making them more resilient in the long term.