News from the East

November 2013

From barley near Brackley to a Maltster in Mistley and from wheat near Willingdon to a Feed Mill in Fakenham, it all happens in the East…

It’s a great honour to represent AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds in the bread basket of Britain. The very positive reception from all those that I met as I worked across the region in the summer showed that AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds’ decision to recruit Regional Managers was very much the right thing to do.

Growers and processors alike have been quick to seize the opportunity for regionally focussed communication. I have been happy to deliver information from the extensive AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds resources, and pleased to pass on the constructive feedback from many levy payers – long may that relationship continue.

After a timely end to harvest and generally good establishment of the new crops that have followed, it’s now time to begin some of our specific regional initiatives. We have had a great response to our call for new Monitor Farms, but the application window remains open throughout November so growers still have a chance to throw their name in the hat.

I also have the beginnings of some really high calibre Arable Business Groups across the region. We’ll use these as a base to roll out our benchmarking programme and a schedule of other topical meetings – anyone who is interested in setting up a Group is very welcome to contact me for more information.

At the UK Grain event in Peterborough we launched our new grain sampling guide,, which proved to be very popular with all those who visited our stand; but not quite as much as our free buckets which got used for everything other than their original purpose!

I also look forward to seeing you at the following events:

  • AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Agronomists’ Conference, Peterborough Arena, East of England Showground, on Tuesday 10 December. This full-day technical conference focuses on the latest developments from AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds’ research programme. Attendees will also have the opportunity to help shape our research priorities going forward when we launch our new research consultation at the Conference. It’s usually very well attended by both agronomists and growers, and is bookable on the website right now.
  • Precision Farming Workshops; AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds and Catchment Sensitive Farming are offering a number of precision farming courses for growers wanting to learn more about the fundamentals of precision farming. Covering topics such as tractor and machine optimisation, targeted agronomy and data management, growers will be able to explore the technical and financial aspects of making the move to precision farming. Visit the website for more details and to make a booking, but hurry as there are only a few workshops and places left.

Finally, my top tip for the month is…Think about becoming an AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds board member.

We are currently searching for six new AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Board members to take up post in March 2014. Vacancies exist for two grower members, three processor members and one independent. The appointments are for a three year term, and will require up to 24 days commitment a year including attending five AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Board meetings in London and Warwickshire. More information on how to apply is available on the website. The closing date is 10 December.

We really need to make sure the East is well represented!



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.