Looking at collaboration

Quite a few things interested me in the Monitor Farm scheme, but I want to focus specifically on collaboration. The hope is that once we have proved that this works, it will saves us money, increase efficiency and help us do a better job.

One of the discussions they had at the Hereford Monitor Farm meeting at the start of the summer was about precision farming. You have to have such scale to make it work, but you can quite easily increase your scale if you are willing to collaborate with other people.

This autumn we’re not buying any more equipment but we have an agreement between us and two neighbouring farms that we will share our labour as much as we can. We’ll talk every day, and then when one farm isn’t busy, we’ll bring the labour and machinery from that business to a farm that is busy and focus on operations there. That goes for combining, corn carting, potato harvesting, potato grading and grain drying. If the autumn campaign goes well we will look to consolidate our operations further and start to make plans for growing the three businesses as a single entity.



Sam Watson-Jones is a fourth-generation farmer growing feed wheat, OSR, oats and potatoes on a 485ha farm near Newport, Shropshire. The farm sells primarily to local grain merchants and Sam also has 180,000 broiler chickens. Sam has started sharing machinery for the potato side of the business and is interested in how he can collaborate with other arable farmers to achieve more on his enterprise.