Boosting beneficials and IPM: Chelmsford

Past Event - booking closed

Fri, 08 November 2019

9:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Galleywood Heritage Centre, The Common, Galleywood, Chelmsford, Essex


Boosting beneficials and IPM

Chelmsford Monitor Farm meeting

With the reduction in availability of key inputs, the need for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has become even more important.  As the “out of a can” approach is not always possible any longer, can the biological approach help.  But….do you know what pollinators and beneficials you are encouraging, how to encourage them and how to manage them?


Mark Ramsden, ADAS will look to answer these questions. He will share the background to the interactions between pests and their natural enemies, lag periods for control and how to use them to your advantage.

Andy Barr, Kent farmer will be joining us to share how he manages pests and boosts natural enemies on his farm. The farm hasn’t sprayed insecticides for 12 years, has put in pollinator strips through the ASSIST project, uses Countryside Stewardship options, companion cropping and is aiming for a practical approach across the whole system – promises to be a very interesting discussion.

Hear from AHDB's Charlotte Rowley on the latest AHDB research in this area including: aphid management and cabbage stem flea beetle.

There will also be the opportunity to look at the ID of the key pests and natural enemies and learn the monitoring tools and techniques.


  • Registration with coffee and bacon roll
  • Welcome and introduction: Teresa Meadows, AHDB
  • Farm update: Christy and Hew Willett, Chelmsford Monitor Farmers
  • Introduction to session: Charlotte Rowley, AHDB
  • Beneficials, pollinators and pest thresholds: group exercise
  • Using beneficials for integrated pest management: Mark Ramsden, ADAS
    • Beneficials: types and the resources they need
    • Research on their impact
    • Techniques for encouraging them onto your farm
    • Pest/predator life cycles
  • Refreshment break
  • Boosting beneficials and managing pests on my farm: Andy Barr, A & A Barr Farms
  • Tools for monitoring: group discussion
  • Meeting summary and close: Charlotte Rowley and Teresa Meadows, AHDB
  • Depart

For more information please contact Teresa Meadows by e-mail or call 07387 015465

About Chelmsford Monitor Farm

Christy and Hew Willett farm at Parklands Farm in Galleywood on the fringe of Chelmsford, Essex. This mother-and-son team farm in partnership across 475 ha of arable cropping, with a mixture of owned and rented land. Their rotation is typically two wheats followed by spring beans/OSR, although this has become more flexible since 2012 to include spring barley and spring oats, based on the condition of each field. The farm has recently moved to a strip-till system and is focussed on the significant challenge of grass weed management, including black-grass and ryegrass. Most of their wheat is destined for local millers. The farm has diversified into horse liveries, as well as office and industrial lets. Christy and Hew see their greatest challenge as keeping their cost of production as low as possible without sacrificing yield. They are keen to use benchmarking, on-farm trials and discussions from the Monitor Farm programme to improve and develop their farm business in these critical years for the industry.

For more information please visit the Chelmsford Monitor Farm page.

About Monitor Farms

AHDB Monitor Farms bring together groups of like-minded farmers who wish to improve their businesses by sharing performance information and best practice around a nationwide network of host farms. AHDB organises and facilitates Monitor Farm meetings for farmers, who own and operate the scheme – by farmers, for farmers.

Monitor Farms are part of the AHDB Farm Excellence Programme. Each Monitor Farm project runs for three years.