Scrutinising our business

Hopefully through the programme I hope we can come up with some new ideas on crop production and scrutinise our business more closely in relation costs and utilising precision technology to achieve more efficient use of inputs and the benefits of cover cropping in the rotation.

Through being a monitor farmer I would really like to look at black-grass control, improving soil structure through use of non-mechanical methods as well as looking in to optimising inputs.

I was interested in the Monitor Farm programme as it seems a good way of promoting what we do as an industry to a wider base and having undertaken my Nuffield Scholarship, it made me realise the importance of wider communication.

We do currently benchmark, but not as intensively as I would like. Our production costs are on the high side as we take a “no prisoners” approach to black-grass in certain areas on the farm, but we strive for high outputs and optimum yields. The best way to reduce costs per tonne is to maintain decent yields.



Russell McKenzie farms 750ha on predominantly heavy clay on the border between Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. He grows seed on contract as well as soft and feed wheat, and his usual rotation is wheat, OSR and spring beans. A Nuffield Scholar, Russ has been researching direct drilling in extreme weather in 2013 and 2014.