Monitor Farm meeting: Basingstoke
Trip to Strategic Farm West
As part of this year’s Basingstoke MF events, we are arranging a coach trip to visit the AHDB Strategic Farm in Leamington Spa which is managed by Rob Fox (who presented at our Basingstoke MF on Joint Venture’s earlier in the year).
This interactive farm tour will incorporate the Strategic Farm’s harvest 2019 results and the opportunity to benchmark your own farm figures against the host farm and wider group.
AHDB’s Strategic Farms test findings from research on commercial farms by putting them into practice on a field scale. The results aim to provide practical messages for local farmers to use on their own farms.
***Please note everyone will be meeting at the above location and then getting a coach to the farm and back: Bishops Tachbrook Sports & Social Club, Kingsley Road, Bishops Tachbrook, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV33 9RR*
Demonstration topics on the Strategic Farm include:
- Measuring & improving soil health
- Low input vs high input cropping systems
- The effect of cultivation type and depth on crop rooting and yield
- Linking commercial farming with the environment to achieve sustainable agricultural systems (ASSIST Experiment)
- Headland management for the modern arable unit
Basingstoke Monitor Farm
Hugh Crosbie Dawson, with his father, has worked on the 1,161 ha mixed Freefolk Farms near Basingstoke since 2011. The 800 ha arable cropping is split across owned, rented and contract farmed land. The farm’s rotation includes milling wheat, spring barley, oilseed rape and peas, all grown on predominantly chalky soil. In addition to the arable enterprise the farm has 150 dairy cows and 500 breeding ewes. There are three full-time arable staff as well as a herdsman, Hugh and his father. A min-till approach is adopted where possible, although the farm has used the plough this year for the first time in 15 years, in order to combat grass weed pressure. Other enterprises on the farm include commercial lettings, self-storage and a solar farm. Hugh’s ambition for the business is to reduce fixed and variable costs, increase efficiency and make further use of precision farming methods. During the Monitor Farm programme Hugh is also interested in benchmarking with other farmers and exploring break crops.
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.
If you have any questions about this event, please contact us using the details below.