Monitor Farm launch: Vale of Belvoir

Past Event - booking closed

20 June 2019

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Sherwood Farms, Hickling, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

LE14 3AR

This meeting will launch the Vale of Belvoir Monitor Farm hosted by father and son team James and Michael Parker at Sherwood Farms in Hickling.

Attendees will be introduced to the farm itself and decide the programme for the next three years. It will also be an opportunity to analyse James' and Michael's business and identify the key issues to be addressed.

Once agreed, the programme will include topics relevant to farms in the local area. This is to enable as many growers to benefit as possible from the three year programme.

There will be short presentations, a farm walk and group discussions.

Lunch will also be provided.


  • 10:00 Tea/coffee and registration
  • 10.15 Welcome and introduction to monitor farm programme (Judith Stafford – AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager)
  • 10.35 Background and current position at monitor farm (James Parker, Michael Parker, monitor farmers)
    • Farm details including:
      • farm size and layout
      • other enterprises
      • staffing
      • soil type, average temperatures and rainfall
      • rotation, cultivations and cropping
      • challenges facing the business
      • environmental aspects (stewardship schemes etc.)
      • plans for the monitor farm programme
  • 10.50 Farm walk: James Parker, Michael Parker
    • To include:
      • Current cropping and rotation including reasons behind it – winter wheat, winter oilseed rape (OSR), winter barley, spring barley, winter beans, winter triticale and spring linseed
      • Crops to focus on for farm walk: winter wheat, winter beans, winter barley, winter OSR, spring barley, spring linseed
      • Discussion on current situation – diagnose problems including any compaction issues; including underperforming area of OSR
      • Discuss drilling strategy
      • Use of technology (precision farming, e.g. soil scanning) and how to use data
      • Yield Enhancement Network – view wheat entry and discuss planned focus
      • How to deal with serious weed burdens
      • Changing the rotation
      • Role of cover crops
      • Environmental stewardship areas
      • Grain drying, buying a new (used) dryer and how best to replace old equipment
      • Include discussion of machinery used for field operations
      • Machinery costs in Farmbench
  • 12.20 Return to meeting room 
  • 12.30 Breakout session:
    • Main group divides into small groups of 6-8 and carries out a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) on the monitor farm business
    • Groups record points on flipchart paper
    • Spokesman from each group feeds back to main group
  • 13.10 Discussion of outcomes
    • Comments and discussion on recurring themes
    • Explain how these will be used to formulate the winter meeting programme
  • 13.20 Lunch and meeting close

Meeting reports will be available at: 
For more information: email or call 07891 556623

About the farm

Father and son team James and Michael Parker farm at Sherwood Farms in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire. Their soil ranges from heavy clay to clay and sandy loam. James and Michael’s 560 ha increasingly flexible arable rotation includes winter wheat, winter oilseed rape, winter barley, spring barley, winter beans, winter triticale and spring linseed. Sherwood Farms is also home to 72,000 laying chickens, a mixture of free range and colony. The eggs are packed and sold onsite. Both James and Michael want to increase the efficiency of their business and to produce crops as economically as possible. They are looking forward to comparing their business with other farmers facing similar challenges, identifying where improvements can be made.



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


T 07891556623