Welcome to Warwickshire
Hello and welcome to Squab Hall Farm! I manage the arable interests for a business which has become highly diversified over the years into document storage, furniture storage, self storage, removals and self drive van hire.
I’ve been here for four years now, previously working on an estate in Northants and on the family farm before that. We grow feed wheat, winter barley, oilseed rape and spring barley and spring beans, on 400ha split between land extending from Squab Hall at Bishops Tachbrook , to Chesterton, and rented land near Ufton and Southam. We are also involved in a machinery and labour share Joint Venture on another 600 acres, helping us to reduce our labour and power bill!
Since I started here we have had very mixed years. We had an average year in 2010 where wheats yielded 8t/ha, in 2011 we averaged nearly 11 t/ha in feed what, but the last two years have been shockers. We need to get back on track this year!
I thought the Monitor Farm scheme was a fantastic opportunity to really have a good look at the business that I’m managing and see where we can make some savings and efficiencies; things we’re doing right; things we’re doing wrong. I’d like to open it up to a bit of scrutiny by other local farmers and get some different views on what we do. I think it’ll be a good opportunity to learn where we can develop this business.
A field of stubble being replanted with spring beans at Wood Farm, nr Ufton
The issues that we face are the same as most other arable businesses in the area. We have a certain level of black-grass that we are struggling to keep on top of and are having to change the way we farm to try to keep it under control on the worse fields. We have to aim at reducing the cost of production to ensure that we can farm sustainably into the future.
Our opening meeting is on 20 June and it would be great to see as many of you there as possible. Please email AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Regional Manager Richard Laverick if you’d like to come along.
In the meantime we are busy getting ready for a machinery sale here on 29 May so lots to do!