Monitor Farm meeting: Downpatrick

Past Event - booking closed

Mon, 09 December 2019

12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Bright Community Centre, 74-72 Ballynoe Road, Downpatrick, County Down

BT30 8AJ

During this monitor farm meeting we'll be going out into the field with Dr Elizabeth Stockdale (NIAB) to discuss cover crops and their benefits.

Richard has drilled different cover crops that we can look at to see what their impact on soil health, structure and worm numbers.

We will also spend some time looking at the costs of cover crops and how we can make them stand up economically.

Please make sure that you bring suitable footwear/clothing.


  • Registration and Lunch
  • Welcome and introduction - Michelle Nuttall
  • Cover crop try out - Richard Orr, Downpatrick Monitor Farmer
    • Try out layout
    • Cost implications of cover crops
  • AHDB Farm Update - Richard Orr, Downpatrick Monitor Farmer
  • How cover crops affect soil - Richard Orr and Elizabeth Stockdale
    • Impact on soil structure
    • Soil health
    • Worm counts
  • Refreshment Break
  • Soil Health Scorecard - Michelle Nuttall, AHDB
    • Nutrient management
    • Organic matter
    • Effect of different cover crop species
  • Cover Crops in the arable rotation - Paul Cottney, AFBI
    • Benefits of cover crops
    • Nutrient cycling
    • Impact on soil health
    • Choosing the right species choices
  • Close - Michelle Nuttall, AHDB

About the farm

Richard Orr farms with his father at Meadow Farm in Downpatrick. He grows winter wheat and spring and winter barley on 75 arable ha and the rotation also includes potatoes, turnips and grass. The soil is a dry, free-draining medium, stony loam with good organic matter. Richard has previously hosted AHDB winter barley variety trials for the Recommended Lists. His aim is to grow the business while becoming more efficient, and to add value by marketing produce more directly to the end user, such as with his potatoes which he sells in the farm shop. During the three years of the Monitor Farm programme Richard hopes to share learning with fellow farmers and challenge his thinking, to ultimately become a better farmer.



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


T 07778 143404