Monitor Farm launch: Canterbury

Past Event - booking closed

3 July 2019

10:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Hammill Court Farm, Woodnesborough, Sandwich, Kent

CT13 0EL

About the Monitor Farm

William Smith farms with his father, brother and one other employee at Beaute Farm near Canterbury. Covering some 765 ha, of which 190 ha are owned, 100 ha are rented and the rest managed under varying contract farming agreements; the land features a variety of soil types including chalk loam, brick earth and marsh clay. William grows milling wheat, oilseed rape, beans quinoa and maize for a local anaerobic digestion plant. Alongside their crops the farm has a sheep and beef enterprise, straw and hay and property development businesses.

William wants to improve his net margins through reducing input costs, via integrated farm and pest management; reducing his impact on the environment and supporting local biodiversity. Over the next three years William is keen to use the Monitor Farm programme to improve his farming methods and strategies, helping him to identify opportunities from the challenges ahead.


  • Registration
  • Welcome and introduction: Paul Hill – AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager SE
  • 'Unearth your Strengths – An introduction to AHDB Farmbench': James Lamb – Benchmarking KE Manager
  • An introduction to Beaute Farm: Will Smith (Monitor Farmer)
  • Farm tour and discussions: Main Objective –To develop the arable operation so it can and financially and ethically sustain itself in the future
    • Possible farm tour topics to be covered:
      • 1. Soils & rotation husbandry - (Wheat / breakcrops,) 
      • 2. Technology to improve profits (IPM / IFM) precision farming, Grass weeds / b’grass husbandry, reducing chemical dependency / variable costs, varieties
      • 3. Analysing variable costs - building soil nutrients and robust disease and pest strategies for the future e.g. break crops (OSR / beans) cover cropping, reducing manufactured N, biostimulants / biopesticides, varieties (RL)
      • 4. Beneficial predators/ Environmental Stewardship – can this add business robustness? Glyphosate/ scenario planning. 
      • 5. YEN 2019 (Creating husbandry strategies for consistent yields and profitable crops.) 
      • 6. OSR, Establishment, CSFB, Stem canker Erucic Acid (how to hit targets), profitable yields, varieties, companion cropping, drilling date etc.
      • 7. Machinery Review & Investment (how can we efficiently reduce our fixed costs)
  • Arrive back at barn (tea/coffee on arrival)
  • Lunch
  • Explanation of SWOT breakout session: Paul Hill
  • SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) group analysis discussions (break-out session 1) 
  • Feedback: Beaute Farm Business SWOT
  • Future Topics / Knowledge Gaps – tell us your thoughts (break-out session 2): Steering group members to lead discussion groups
  • Quick feedback – top three suggestions from each group
  • Event summary: Paul Hill
  • Finish

Click below to watch a video preview:



If you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the details below.


T 07964243699